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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MLS and Liga MX leave rivalry to form alliance


The Campeones Cup is the latest integration effort between Liga MX and the Major League Soccer (MLS). MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla foresee a great alliance and partnership to foster the sport in the region and compete, in a near future, at the same level Europe and South America do.

During the last years there have been rumors about a possible alliance to be formalized between Major League Soccer (MLS) and Liga MX. The big questions have revolved around when it could be specified and the terms of that society. Last Tuesday, those questions were answered after the announcement that confirmed the staging of the Campeones Cup in September between the champions of the MLS and the Champion of Champions of the Liga MX, resulting from a matchup between the Mexican League’s two tournament champions: Apertura (Tigres UANL) and Clausura.

The announcement also dealt with the commitment of a future match between stars of MLS and Liga MX, in addition to sharing knowledge about business practices and social responsibility. According to ESPN, seeing two neighboring leagues and rivals together in the highly competitive world of today's football is not exactly the norm; however, this seems to be the beginning of a very close relationship between Liga MX and MLS.

Thus, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla discuss with the sport media, the strategic partnership, its meaning and what it means for the future. In regard to the value for both leagues of this joint effort, Bonilla said that in this globalized world “we must work together if we want to be successful, if we want to improve and that is what we are doing with this announcement. We recognize that each of us has different strengths and that we must add them in order to grow and that we can show a better football level in order to compete with the rest of the world”.

Don Garber, for his part, expressed that: “It's a great opportunity to join forces with a long-term vision to help grow this sport in North America in ways that will benefit our fans, our respective clubs and that will raise the popularity of this sport throughout North America. It fits well within the efforts that our respective federations are trying to make to host the 2026 World Cup and which gives each league the ability to take advantage of the power of our leagues and clubs”.

When asked about the rivalry in the field between Liga MX and MLS, and its importance for the growth of this sport in North America, Garber was emphatic: “Our goal is to work with Mexico to ensure that our side of the world attracts the attention of the rest of the football world. It should not only be Europe or South America. North America should also enter.” Of course, it will take more than these actions to attract fans in the region from other sports far more popular such as baseball, American football, hockey, to name but a few.