Tata Martino: MLS, Liga MX pose "greater competitive demands" than Europe

Tata Martino - Atlanta United - Suit, smiling

Playing in the most famous leagues in the world is important, but so is regular playing time in a balanced competition with strenuous tests week in, week out, like North America’s top leagues.

That was the message from new Mexican national team manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino on Wednesday, as he discussed El Tri’s player pool in a press conference in Mexico City.

“My biggest concern is the players finding rhythm,” said the former Atlanta United coach when asked about the fortunes of recent Philadelphia Union acquisition Marco Fabian and other Mexican players abroad. “We obviously value those that play in the best leagues in the world. However, it is also true that we value the fact they are playing regularly and, in that respect, it's not a problem for me that Carlos [Salcedo] or [Miguel] Layun or Fabian come to play in Mexico or [MLS].

Tata then went one step further, contending that MLS and Liga MX, by virtue of being more balanced across the board than traditionally top-heavy leagues like La Liga, pose more consistent tests for players seeking to find and maintain top form for both club and country.

“There are probably a greater number of competitive games in the Mexican league or [MLS] than in the Spanish or English leagues,” he said. “When you look at the English [Premier] League, 10 of the 38 games are really competitive and if you start to look elsewhere, above all in the United States, where all the teams have more or less the same provisions to sign players and to put together [a team].

“There's probably greater competitive demands over the course of the year in Mexico or the United States than in the best leagues in Europe.”