Monday, March 13, 2017
Is this the Year that Liga MX Succumbs to MLS?
It would be a watershed moment for MLS to pass its nemesis, that holds not only the 'popularity' card, but also the 'talent' card. Even according to Don Garber, the commissioner of MLS, Liga MX is the superior skilled league.
Becoming the best and most popular soccer league in the United States should be the primary goal for MLS. Considering all of the sports entertainment options competing against MLS, it must eventually solidify itself as at least the number one option for soccer enthusiasts in the U.S. As things stand, MLS is behind second place English Premier League and first place Liga MX in U.S. television ratings.
It would seem that 2017 is the year for MLS to take advantage of its own good fortune and of Liga MX's blunders. Atlanta and Minneapolis metro areas, as expansion franchises for MLS, fill in some of the empty soccer areas on the U.S. map. With key territories of the Upper Midwest and Southeast now more under the umbrella of MLS, logic would dictate better Tv ratings.
All of the sudden, Liga MX referees went on strike and a weekend of Mexican league action was canceled. Even with the strike ending, it was negative news for the Mexican league. No league can afford to have games missed.
Beyond the strike, there are CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal games pending. Games start tomorrow (Tuesday) with two MLS teams versus two Liga MX teams. These are showdown and showtime games.
Can MLS get over the hump and win its first Champions League era title? A Canadian (Vancouver) team and an American (Dallas) team are challenging. If both were to win, that would say a lot about 'changing' times, MLS rising to the occasion, and, just maybe turning a 'corner' on Mexico.