Liga MX

Cesar Montes to Valencia
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El Tri star Montes “ready” for Europe amidst Valencia report

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Mexican defender Cesar Montes is ready to make the jump to La Liga, and he’s excited to be linked with Valencia.

Monterrey star Montes, 23, stands about 6-foot-3 and has 10 caps for Mexico.

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He has 182 senior appearances for Monterrey, almost all of them at center back, and has chipped in 11 goals at the other end.

Reports earlier this week said Valencia was ready to bid $5 million and let Monterrey have 50 percent of any sell-on rights for the El Tri star.

Valencia has ex-Man City man Eliaquim Mangala, ex-Arsenal back Gabriel Paulista, and former Lyon defender Mouctar Diakhaby as center backs under contract next season.

From Marca’s Mexican outlet:

“It is a great leap and I am ready. I am 22 for 23 years old and since I was a boy I am fighting for this and I have a clear goal of playing in Europe.

“(Valencia is) a great team to go to play in Europe. … My agents will continue working on their own. It is clear that Valencia is one of the greats in Europe.”

Montes went 79 minutes against Liverpool at the Club World Cup, subbing off with the match tied at one (Roberto Firmino won it in stoppage time).

You can see him here bodying up Mohamed Salah before the Egyptian makes a silly pass to Naby Keita for an early Liverpool lead.

Liga MX cancels Clausura season; Cruz Azul, Leon into Champions League

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Liga MX announced the cancelation of their Clausura season Friday, advancing the top two teams into the CONCACAF Champions League.

Mexico’s Clausura season traditionally runs from January to May, and had run 10 matchweeks before the coronavirus pause.

CCL qualifiers Cruz Azul led the table with 22 points and Club Leon was second with 21. Santos Laguna and Club America were both four points back of Leon.

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“It’s undisputed that we are living in unprecedented times in our country, which forces the soccer industry in Mexico to act with absolute reason and respond with unity to the requirements that have been presented to us,” said a statement.

Earlier this Spring, Liga MX canceled promotion and relegation for the next five years. The league also announced that it had joined MLS in canceling three big joint events this summer.

The Apertura season generally runs from late July to early December, and the 2020-21 season begins with the Apertura. Some reports have indicated that Liga MX plans to open the season as planned if there are no changes in government protocol.

MLS, Liga MX cancel three major events including MLS All Star Game

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Major League Soccer and Liga MX have canceled three major events as both outfits focus on the possibilities of league play after the coronavirus pandemic.

The MLS All-Star Game against the Liga MX All Stars joins The Leagues Cup and the Campeones Cup in being canceled. All three events were set for July or later on the calendar.

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MLS announced that the Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup will return in 2021, and that it is hopeful of hosting the Liga MX All-Stars for the 2021 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

The league stopped short of guaranteeing the matchup, but said it’s expecting to see the same showcase.

MLS played two match days in March before suspending the season over the coronavirus pandemic, while Liga MX played 10 rounds of its Clausura season before stopping for the same reason.

The CONCACAF Champions League is the next big shoe to drop, as the entire competition was set to finish by May 7. Three of the four quarterfinal first legs were played, with four MLS teams, three Liga MX sides, and Honduras’ Olimpia still in the competition.

It’s by far the most important competition of the four above, as the winner represents CONCACAF in the Club World Cup and there will be two Club World Cups within six months: December 2020 in Qatar and June 2021 in China.

Liga MX suspends promotion and relegation for the next five years

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During a video conference on Friday, Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla announced that promotion and relegation between Mexico’s top two divisions is suspended for the next five years.

The decision came after 18 Liga MX owners took a vote on the subject during the same video conference.

Bonilla, who took over the league’s presidency in 2015, also confirmed the cancellation of Ascenso MX’s – Mexico’s second division – 2020 Clausura and the 1000-minute threshold for minors in Liga MX.

In addition, Bonilla added that Ascenso MX clubs, who voted in favor of the promotion-relegation decision earlier this week, will receive five years worth of guaranteed income ($845,000 per club every year).

The news comes after professional soccer in Mexico came to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, giving Liga MX executives time to get its affairs in order, including the possibility of Ascenso MX converting into a youth development league.

Recently, dozens of Ascenso MX and Liga MX players took their disagreement of ending promotion and relegation to social media, uploading a photos with the hashtag, “without promotion there is no development.” Major League Soccer players like San Jose Earthquakes’ Oswaldo Alanís and LAFC’s Carlos Vela – whose older brother, Alejandro Vela, was affected first-hand by the decision – also joined the movement.

With promotion and relegation – which was based on a points-per-game basis over a three-year period and only relegated and promoted one club from each league per calendar year – on pause for the next five years, the chances of a Liga MX-MLS merger on the back of the 2026 World Cup seems likely.

In July 2019, MLS commissioner Don Garber told ESPN’s Herculez Gomez that the “ultimate dream” (between MLS and Liga MX) is “a league that is combined in some way.”

Liga MX president says he has coronavirus

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MEXICO CITY (AP) The president of Mexico’s Liga MX soccer league announced Friday he has tested positive for coronavirus.

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Liga MX President Enrique Bonilla said in a statement that “I don’t have serious symptoms.” He says he’ll remain in isolation and keep up with the situation of Mexican first-division soccer.

Mexican first-division soccer matches were suspended this week until further notice to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mexican soccer learned Tuesday the head of Atlético de San Luis team, Alberto Marrero, also had coronavirus.

Mexico has yet to declare legal bans on public gatherings, but has encouraged its citizens to maintain a healthy distance in crowded places due to coronavirus.