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MLS & Liga MX Announce New Partnership

The two North American leagues will co-organize a number of new competitions— including a Campeones Cup

Photo by Paul-Michael Ochoa

Do you ever find yourself looking back on the old North American SuperLiga and thinking, “man, those days were great, why can’t we bring that back?”

For you, my hypothetical friend, this is a wondrous day indeed.

That’s because MLS and Liga MX have announced a new business partnership that will once again bring clubs from the two biggest North American leagues into direct competition with each other. (Outside of the CONCACAF Champions League, obviously.)

The biggest development is the creation of the Campeones Cup, a new annual Community Shield-esque competitive match between the current MLS and Liga MX champions. The Mexican representatives will be named following a playoff match in July between the Apertura champions (Tigres UANL) and the Clausura champions (to be determined in May). The winner of that playoff will face current MLS Cup champions Toronto FC this September at BMO Field.

And no, this isn’t just a mid-season friendly.

The new partnership will also yield a future MLS All-Star Game against a team of Liga MX All-Stars. It’s unclear from the press release whether this will be a one-off arrangement or if this is the new permanent format for the MLS All-Star Game, doing away with the current set-up inviting European clubs to play what is for them a preseason friendly.

There is also talk of new competitions and sporting collaborations down the line, albeit in a vague and non-committal “possibility of more donuts to come” sense.

MLS commish Don Garber said this:

“Major League Soccer is proud to come together with Liga MX for this unprecedented partnership. Together, we have a vision to elevate the popularity of our game to even higher levels in North America. We are excited to have the MLS champion take on Liga MX’s top club in the Campeones Cup this year and build further programs in the years to come.”

And then Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla said this:

“For Mexican soccer, accepting the invitation to this project is a fantastic opportunity to meet our vital goals with a long-term vision. First, it will allow us to grow closer to our fans in the United States and Canada, who are passionate about their Liga MX clubs. Second, it establishes a strategic alliance between the two leagues to exchange experiences and implement best practices throughout both organizations, which will organically assist the growth of soccer in the region.”

Thoughts? Reactions? Willful misreadings? Let us know in the comments!