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LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
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BePcr07 Online
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LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
https://www.espn.com/soccer/mexican-liga...rarragorri

Not the first time this idea has been brought up but interesting nonetheless. I presume many people and fans on both sides would be against such a merger but it would interesting. Liga MX has put relegation on hold for the next 5 years.

The MLS has/will have 30 teams and Liga MX plays with 18. I can’t imagine a merger would include any promotion/relegation. Or, if it did, only with a 2-tier, 24 teams per tier system or with a 3-tier, 16 teams per tier system.
04-19-2020 03:52 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
(04-19-2020 03:52 PM)BePcr07 Wrote:  https://www.espn.com/soccer/mexican-liga...rarragorri

Not the first time this idea has been brought up but interesting nonetheless. I presume many people and fans on both sides would be against such a merger but it would interesting. Liga MX has put relegation on hold for the next 5 years.

The MLS has/will have 30 teams and Liga MX plays with 18. I can’t imagine a merger would include any promotion/relegation. Or, if it did, only with a 2-tier, 24 teams per tier system or with a 3-tier, 16 teams per tier system.

It's a bizarre idea. I'm not saying it couldn't work, but do we really know what they're proposing? Would Liga MX act as another conference? Would everything be split into East and West as it is currently?

But yeah, it would clearly be the North American league as there are already clubs in Canada...and there probably should a couple more up there.
04-19-2020 05:09 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
MLS will have 30 clubs after the expansion teams begin play. Liga MX has 18. Can't have a 48 team league.

Could have a 20 team super league, maybe, if the 10 clubs from each league with the strongest financial situations broke away and started a new North American league, but the national federations and CONCACAF would find a way to prevent that from happening.
04-19-2020 05:55 PM
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BePcr07 Online
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
(04-19-2020 05:55 PM)Wedge Wrote:  MLS will have 30 clubs after the expansion teams begin play. Liga MX has 18. Can't have a 48 team league.

Could have a 20 team super league, maybe, if the 10 clubs from each league with the strongest financial situations broke away and started a new North American league, but the national federations and CONCACAF would find a way to prevent that from happening.

I’d think a 3-tier promotion/relegation system of 16 each would be neat but it’d be hard to convince these clubs to be “demoted.” 3 conferences of 16 or 4 conferences of 12 is the most likely result.
04-19-2020 07:47 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
(04-19-2020 05:55 PM)Wedge Wrote:  MLS will have 30 clubs after the expansion teams begin play. Liga MX has 18. Can't have a 48 team league.

Could have a 20 team super league, maybe, if the 10 clubs from each league with the strongest financial situations broke away and started a new North American league, but the national federations and CONCACAF would find a way to prevent that from happening.

Liga MX has already suspended pro/rel. I think if they were going to have a traditional structure in place then there's no reason to take that step.

Also, there's no chance anyone is getting relegated from MLS after all the money that's been flowing into new franchises. Actually, the owner of Atlas specifically pointed to the stability of MLS as a motivation to make this move because their structure invites more investment from owners. And if Liga MX teams thought there was any chance they would get left out then they wouldn't have supported suspending pro/rel within their own ranks as it would serve no purpose. Looks like that league is moving in unison.

There's also commentary on why this merger makes sense...MLS has done a pretty good job of being on TV in Europe. Apparently, it's hard to find Liga MX over there. Merge the two and problem solved. That and players in Liga MX have had a harder time getting noticed by European clubs. The league's structure has made transfers more difficult. Putting everyone under one structure would seem to improve that.

I don't know what a 48 team league and possibly bigger in the future would look like. Obviously, you can't play everyone else even once much less twice. With that said, they can still do it...it's not like there's rules against it. I just think you'll see more tightly wound divisions or something of that nature with less crossover.

Just based on everything I've seen the last couple of days, it sounds like it's happening and it's just a matter of when.

At this point, I think I'd put my money on a new merged league starting their first season this Fall. If they merge at a future date then all of this upheaval will happen again as they're already not using the same calendar. Ironically, it's the perfect time to make a move like this with everything happening in the world. That and putting MLS on the same calendar with the top leagues in the world would be better anyway.

Partly, it's just too hot in Mexico and much of the US to rely on the bulk of your season being in the Summer. The clubs in colder climates will have some disruptions, but there are ways around that as well. Maybe an extended Winter break? Backloading the schedule so that fewer games are in the colder climates during the Winter months?
04-20-2020 01:15 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
Liga MX suspended pro/rel because their second division teams are not even close to having the facilities or financial backing to compete in Liga MX. They also had one Liga MX club that just folded last year.

I suspect the owner who tossed out this idea of a merger is spitballing ways of getting stronger Liga MX clubs separated from others that might be in not much better shape than Veracruz was.

MLS is only OK financially because its owners have shares in Soccer United Marketing, which controls USMNT and USWNT media rights as well as ticket sales for USMNT and USWNT friendlies and even Mexican national team friendlies that are held in the USA. There's no way they'd cut Liga MX owners in on that money stream.

Article on Soccer United Marketing: https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2018/2/8...thy-carter
04-20-2020 04:46 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
(04-20-2020 04:46 PM)Wedge Wrote:  Liga MX suspended pro/rel because their second division teams are not even close to having the facilities or financial backing to compete in Liga MX. They also had one Liga MX club that just folded last year.

I suspect the owner who tossed out this idea of a merger is spitballing ways of getting stronger Liga MX clubs separated from others that might be in not much better shape than Veracruz was.

MLS is only OK financially because its owners have shares in Soccer United Marketing, which controls USMNT and USWNT media rights as well as ticket sales for USMNT and USWNT friendlies and even Mexican national team friendlies that are held in the USA. There's no way they'd cut Liga MX owners in on that money stream.

Article on Soccer United Marketing: https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2018/2/8...thy-carter

But they're not just tossing the idea out. They've been discussing it for a few years...ever since the combined World Cup bid. The head of Liga MX at that time was even suggesting the possibility although the timetable offered was very different. Back then, he said it would probably be after the World Cup took place in North America.

I get that they wanted to basically cut out the 2nd division for financial reasons, but they're also turning it into a developmental league. In other words, sounds like they're abandoning the idea of a viable 2nd division. There's no reason to take steps like that if they wanted a remotely open pyramid. At the very least, some of these Liga MX clubs would be shooting themselves in the foot as it would be quite a gamble as to whether or not they made the cut for a new North American league.

All in all, any of these moves would be for financial reasons so none of that is mutually exclusive.

On the part of MLS, it has attracted a lot of big money in recent years. I'm sure there are perks in regard to the association with US Soccer, but they're not dropping hundreds of millions of dollars so they can get a share of ticket sales for the national teams. The league has come a long way in 20 years, and it's poised to go much further in the next 20. The billionaires and certainly the respective cities are making long term investments in the prosperity of the league itself.

One thing that might make that investment explode a little quicker than anticipated would be a merger with Liga MX. A lot of the viewership for that league is coming from Mexican-born people who are now living in the US. Why not merge and consolidate the market? Open up the TV contracts and test the real value of these leagues in unison. That and provide a higher quality product for foreign markets. I mean, compared to what the MLS is currently bringing down, that's an income stream they can't afford to ignore even if it's not going to be in the same galaxy with the EPL or others.

In other words, the next TV contract will be pivotal for the MLS. If they've got something that networks are willing to pay for then the reliance on association with US Soccer won't be as important in the short term. Long term, it can't be that important anyway. It's a means to an end in the short term or there's no reason for billionaires to invest. If all they've got to look forward to is a consistent slice of US Soccer revenue then that's already a shrinking pie every time a new franchise signs on. It's also a revenue stream with a low ceiling. US Soccer could become more prosperous, sure, but they're not going to change how international competition works. US Soccer teams aren't going to play enough games or sell enough tickets to sustain the MLS in the future...not possible.
04-21-2020 01:53 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
(04-21-2020 01:53 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  I'm sure there are perks in regard to the association with US Soccer, but they're not dropping hundreds of millions of dollars so they can get a share of ticket sales for the national teams.

It's not just ticket sales, it's ticket sales plus TV money plus sponsorship money. SUM is essentially being used to skim money off of the USMNT/USWNT revenue pot and divert it to MLS to make MLS franchises financially more attractive.


(04-21-2020 01:53 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  One thing that might make that investment explode a little quicker than anticipated would be a merger with Liga MX. A lot of the viewership for that league is coming from Mexican-born people who are now living in the US.

The US fan base for Liga MX and the Mexican national team is not just folks born in Mexico, in fact that group is much less than half of it. The bulk of it is Americans of Mexican ancestry. A few years ago I went to a USMNT vs. Mexico match at the Rose Bowl. I'd guess about 60% of the crowd was rooting for the Mexican team, but all those guys in the crowd wearing Chicharito's jersey were more likely the children and grandchildren of immigrants.
04-21-2020 02:34 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
Four divisions of 12 teams:

South - Guadalajara, Atlas, América, Cruz Azul, UNAM, Puebla, Morelia, Toluca, Pachuca, Leon, Necaxa, Queretaro

West - Tijuana, Juarez, LA Galaxy, LAFC, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Colorado, Salt Lake, Santos Laguna

Central - Atletico San Luis, Monterrey, UANL, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Saint Louis, Kansas City, Minnesota, Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati

East - Montreal, Toronto, NY City FC, NY Red Bulls, New England, Philadelphia, DC United, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Nashville

The hold up will be finding an acceptable competition calendar, although the spring-to-fall calendar probably wins out - some of the warmest months in Mexico are in the spring, but it's less outrageous than trying to play in Minnesota or New England in January.
04-21-2020 08:35 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
(04-21-2020 08:35 PM)chargeradio Wrote:  Four divisions of 12 teams:

South - Guadalajara, Atlas, América, Cruz Azul, UNAM, Puebla, Morelia, Toluca, Pachuca, Leon, Necaxa, Queretaro

West - Tijuana, Juarez, LA Galaxy, LAFC, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Colorado, Salt Lake, Santos Laguna

Central - Atletico San Luis, Monterrey, UANL, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Saint Louis, Kansas City, Minnesota, Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati

East - Montreal, Toronto, NY City FC, NY Red Bulls, New England, Philadelphia, DC United, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Nashville

The hold up will be finding an acceptable competition calendar, although the spring-to-fall calendar probably wins out - some of the warmest months in Mexico are in the spring, but it's less outrageous than trying to play in Minnesota or New England in January.

I was thinking today a 4x12 structure would probably be the best way. That structure looks as good as any. Play H/H with other 11 in your division plus play 6 from each of the other 3 conferences for a grand total of 40 games. Play everyone every 2 years and play in all stadiums every 4 years.
04-21-2020 09:35 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
I don't see going above 34 games. Remember that there will be at least 2 (and up to 8) CONCACAF Champions League matches for up to 9 teams (4 US, 4 Mexican, and 1 Canadian). US teams could have up to 5 US Open Cup Matches, Canadian teams could have 6 Canadian Championship matches, and Mexican teams could play 14 matches under the current COPA MX format. At least a good portion of COPA MX is played in January.

The 2022 FIFA Calendar also sets up really well for the Mexican teams. You can start the first week of March, and get 3 weeks in before the first international window. Start again in early April, and get another 8 weeks in before the next FIFA window at the end of May, which is actually the warmest time of year for many places in Mexico. Start back in mid-June and get 13 weeks in before the next international window in late Septmeber. That gives teams 24 weeks to play 40 games, although you figure that will be at least 42 for the teams in Champions League, who could theoretically play two games every week.

Come back after the FIFA window in September, and have a 24 team single-elimination tournament in October and November for the playoffs right before the World Cup in Qatar.
04-21-2020 10:57 PM
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RE: LIGA NA? Merger: Liga MX & MLS
(04-21-2020 02:34 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(04-21-2020 01:53 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  I'm sure there are perks in regard to the association with US Soccer, but they're not dropping hundreds of millions of dollars so they can get a share of ticket sales for the national teams.

It's not just ticket sales, it's ticket sales plus TV money plus sponsorship money. SUM is essentially being used to skim money off of the USMNT/USWNT revenue pot and divert it to MLS to make MLS franchises financially more attractive.

I get it, but that's still not sufficient to support the type of investments we're seeing. Especially since these shares automatically shrink every time a new franchise is added. The value of US Soccer will never grow exponentially so as to make the money being dumped into MLS worth it. What could grow exponentially is the league itself.

That's the gamble they're making. It's possible it won't work out, but the ROI from US Soccer wouldn't be a sufficient draw.

That and the cities are making some pretty big investments too. They're doing that because they think it's economically beneficial...despite the studies that show pro sports don't really stimulate local economies.
04-22-2020 12:02 AM
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