The championship match of the inaugural edition of Leagues Cup takes place in Las Vegas on Wednesday night (10:30 pm ET on ESPN2 and TUDN), but Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla also has an eye on the future.
In an interview with ESPNFC.com's Tom Marshall, Bonilla was asked about future plans for a joint league between MLS and Liga MX: "Everything is possible in this world," Bonilla responded.
ESPNFC sources indicated that Major League Baseball's American and National League set-up has been one of the early ideas raised as a potential framework. MLB sees both leagues participate in inter-league play during the regular season with winners of both leagues meeting in the World Series for the championship.
Liga MX and MLS announced a landmark partnership in March 2018, which gave rise to Campeones Cup, pitting the champions from both leagues, as well as the knockout-style Leagues Cup competition which has seen Cruz Azul and UANL Tigres emerge as finalists in the first edition.
MLS and Liga MX split the first two editions of Campeones Cup (2018 and 2019), while Leagues Cup is already doubling in size to 16 clubs next year and Bonilla indicated potential expansion to as many as 32 teams – 16 from each league - in 2021 or 2022.
The competition will see an all-Liga MX final in 2019: Cruz Azul beat the Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy to reach the Leagues Cup final, while Tigres knocked off Real Salt Lake and Club America. And with Liga MX teams generally fielding first-choice lineups for Leagues Cup, Bonilla says that MLS clubs will have to do the same in 2020.
"I think the MLS teams will see the tournament in a different way," Bonilla told ESPNFC. "Now they realize that we sent the best we have, they have to realize that they have to send the best they have."