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MLS, Liga MX have discussed combining; How could it work?

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The idea of a single league combining Liga MX and Major League Soccer, well, it’s just plain awesome.

We can thank Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla for lifting the lid on discussions between the top flights of Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

The Mexican boss was speaking at Stamford Bridge about the future of the sport, and admitted conversations between MLS and Liga MX had taken place.

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He even puts a vague timeline on the project, citing the 2026 World Cup as a springboard for North American club momentum (much like how the 1994 World Cup helped launch MLS).

This led to MLS vice president Dan Courtemanche issuing a comment that certainly wasn’t “No.” From MLSSoccer.com:

“We have been discussing with Liga MX additional ways we can collaborate on and off the field, and we are excited about the future opportunities that exist between our two leagues.”

Liga MX is a more established league with older, bigger brands and has dominated the rivalry between the two leagues, but there’s no denying the headway made by MLS over the past decade.

Given the relationships between the two nations, the melding of the leagues beyond a CONCACAF Champions League is, to borrow a Joe Prince-Wright term, mouth-watering.

But how would it work? Presumably more like a super league, though it would also give MLS another chance to implement what I’ve long-argued is already in their plans (promotion and relegation).

With the money invested by the biggest Mexican clubs in their teams, utilizing a salary cap just isn’t going to make sense. New York City, LAFC, LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, and Atlanta United would be among the teams you’d imagine beyond the cap. And if Club America, Chivas Guadalara, and others were to really spend, then, yes, the league could legitimately start to make headway in competition with Europe (especially with South American elite players who would be able to make nearly as much money closer to home).

A caveat: This is far less attractive an idea if Liga MX sides have simply been swayed by the business model of capping player expenditures and being owned by a single entity. But that can’t happen, right?

How do you think it would work?

Gudiño becomes Chivas hero overnight

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Outside of their shocking and surprising CONCACAF Champions League title earlier in 2018, it’s been a rough last few months for Chivas de Guadalajara fans.

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Over the 2017-2018 Apertura and Clausura campaigns, Chivas had the third-worst record in Liga MX, and while things have been a bit better during the 2018 Apertura, Chivas looked as if it was about to lose a heartbreaker in the Clasico Nacional to Club America. That was before Raul Gudiño had something to say about it.

The 22-year-old former Mexican youth international who could become El Tri’s No. 1 in the future came up with a massive penalty kick save in the 97th minute of the match to save a 1-1 draw for Chivas against Las Aguilas. Gudiño, formerly signed by FC Porto before returning to his home at Chivas this summer, uncoiled from his spot in the middle of the goal like a loaded spring and dove to his right, palming the penalty kick away. It wasn’t the best taken penalty kick by Matias Uribe but it was a great save nonetheless.

Returning to Mexico may have been the best medicine for a player like Gudiño, who until this season was looking for first team minutes with a major club. While Chivas may continue to struggle scoring (it hasn’t won a game since August), they appear to have a gem in the goal. And with Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa, Gudiño is reminding the Mexican fanbase and press that there’s a ready-made replacement in the pipeline.

Tigres cruises to Campeones Cup in Toronto

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What home field advantage?

Jesus Duenas scored twice to join a Toronto FC own goal on the score board as Tigres UANL beat the MLS side 3-1 at BMO Field in Toronto to win the the first ever Campeones Cup.

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Lucas Janson scored late in the match for Toronto FC.

The new competition brings together the winners of MLS Cup and Liga MX’s Campeón de Campeones in a one-off trophy tilt.

The win was a small measure of revenge for Tigres, which was knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League after a fierce quarterfinal against TFC.

The breakthrough came via Duenas, who beat TFC’s back line to a Juninho pass. Michael Bradley showed Duenas to the back post, but Alex Bono didn’t have his angle covered and Tigres had a 1-0 with 10 minutes to go before halftime.

To add insult to injury for Toronto, who saw Jay Chapman head off the cross bar, Sebastian Giovinco had to leave the match soon after Tigres’ opener due when he injured himself trying a shot from 45 yards.

Duenas made it 2-0 from distance in the 64th minute when he ripped a partially cleared corner kick just off the shin of Nick Hagglund and inside Bono’s far post.

An Eriq Zavaleta own goal made it 3-0 for Tigres, but Toronto received a fortunate penalty kick in the 86th minute to get on the scoreboard via Janson, on loan from Tigre (no s).

Manchester United reportedly scouting Mexican midfielder

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Mexico and Cruz Azul midfielder Roberto Alvarado had the chance to further impress one of the world’s biggest clubs on Friday night.

Mexican site Esto has the report, saying United scout Mark Prizant was set to evaluate the 20-year-old playmaker when Mexico faced Uruguay in Houston.

Uruguay won 4-1, with Alvarado playing 44 minutes on debut.

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Alvarado has three goals and five assists in 12 Liga MX appearances this season, and made his senior debut two weeks after his 15th birthday in 2013.

Oddly enough, Wikipedia says Alvarado earned his nickname Piojo because of his hero, and it’s not Mexican star Miguel Herrera. Rather, Alvarado looks up to former Lazio, Valencia, and MLS winger Claudio Lopez of Argentina.

Perhaps Prizant will stay Stateside for USMNT-Mexico, and eventually take Zack Steffen back to deputize under David De Gea. Just saying.

Liga MX wrap: Mozo magic helps Pumas win thriller vs. Necaxa (video)

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Week Two of the Apertura is nearly complete, and the soccer authorities deemed us worthy of a thriller at Olympic Stadium.

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Pumas 5-3 Necaxa

This game was bonkers, and featured one of the slickest nutmegs we’ve seen in some time.

More on that later, but a 1-1 halftime deadlock gave way to a half-dozen markers in a frenzied second half.

Necaxa’s Matias Fernandez saw his 53rd minute goal answered two minutes later by Carlos Gonzalez. Martin Rodriguez and Alan Mozo made it 4-2 by the 76th, but Necaxa again had a quick fire answer in the 78th through Victor Davila’s second of the night.

Gonzalez bagged his second in the 81st to effectively put the match to bed, but what a game.

Mozo’s goal was legitimately smooth.

Club America 3-0 Atlas

Guido Rodriguez’s double made sure Week 1 was just a stumble, as America came back with an inspired performance to move to 1W-1L on the Apertura.

Elsewhere
Tigres 0-0 Tijuana
Guadalajara 0-1 Cruz Azul
Morelia 3-1 Santos Laguna
Puebla 2-1 Toluca
Queretaro 1-0 Pachuca
Lobos BUAP 2-0 Veracruz
Leon 0-2 Monterrey