Could the concept behind an MLS-Liga MX tournament find life in 2019?
That’s what a recent ESPN FC report suggested, and the idea has gained the attention of many North American soccer observers, including ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman.
“First and foremost, I think it's a vital relationship between Liga MX and Major League Soccer, especially with 2026 coming down the road, so you knew this was going to come,” said Twellman in an appearance on the ESPN FC show. “I think the [SuperLiga] competition from 2007 to 2010 was before its time. Now, I do think there’s a place for it, as long as the timing’s right.”
An eight-team summer tournament featuring the top teams from MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX that ran from 2007 to 2010, SuperLiga featured many interesting cross-border matchups but was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts after Concacaf Champions League was born.
Twellman’s Revs were the only MLS team to win it, and while calendar complications remain, he believes a reboot of sorts can merge the best aspects of the two leagues involved, as well as both the enduring rivalries among Canadian, Mexican and US soccer and the nations’ partnership in co-hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“The schedules don't align, but the relationship does,” said Twellman. “And I think there's going to be bumps in the road, but I think by 2022 and 2024, before that World Cup comes around, this relationship's vital for the game, not only in Mexico but also more importantly in Major League Soccer.”
Last year MLS and Liga MX announced a long-term partnership to strengthen the sport in North America, focused "on creating new competition to fuel the rivalry between the countries on the field as well as sharing best practices and prioritizing social responsibility efforts." The new relationship was marked by the inception of the Campeones Cup, an annual showdown between the two leagues' respective champions. Tigres UANL defeated Toronto FC in the inaugural Campeones Cup; Atlanta United will host Liga MX's "Campeon de Campeones" in the 2019 edition
MLS leadership provided the following statement to ESPN FC in regards to the concept of a joint MLS-Liga MX competition:
“We were very excited to kick off our unique and historic partnership between Major League Soccer and Liga MX in 2018, and a memorable first edition of Campeones Cup. We look forward to Atlanta United hosting the second edition this August 2019. It complements the rivalries between national teams and is a reflection of our shared values. As we stated when announcing the partnership, a competition featuring possible interleague play was under consideration. We continue to have discussions about a possible event.”