Will MLS and Liga MX merge to form a North American behemoth?

Executives from both leagues have talked up a proposed united competition. And there are reasons to believe it would work

Last September’s inaugural Leagues Cup final, played in Las Vegas between Cruz Azul and Tigres, didn’t draw much of an audience beyond the 20,132 fans in a stadium left largely untouched by soccer since the NASL days, when an ageing Eusebio played for the Las Vegas Quicksilvers. And yet there was an underlying significance to the fixture.

The final may have been contested by two Mexican teams, but this was the first real product of a partnership between Major League Soccer and Liga MX. Announced in March 2018, the new alliance brought together the three countries involved in hosting the 2026 World Cup and spoke of “a vision to elevate the popularity of our game to even higher levels in North America.” The single-match Campeones Cup, annually played between the champions of both leagues, was formed, but it was the Leagues Cup, a tournament involving an invited group of MLS and Liga MX clubs, that planted the biggest sign post.

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