Liga MX presidents interested in 'North American league' with MLS

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Santos Laguna’s president expressed hope over a North American league that will feature teams from Mexico, the United States and Canada

Liga MX presidents are considering the possibility of forming a joint competition with Major League Soccer in the future, with Santos Laguna president Alejandro Irarragorri openly calling for a "North American League."

The two biggest leagues in North America used to operate as rivals but in 2018 announced a partnership in order to enhance both Liga MX and MLS standing in world soccer.

In the fall the initial Campeones Cup, played between the respective winners of Liga MX and MLS from the previous season, took place between Toronto FC and Tigres.

There have been reports of an eight-team tournament between the two leagues which may take place later in 2019.

But things may go even further than that in the future, with the possibility of a joint league featuring MLS and Liga MX sides not being discounted by the latter’s league’s presidents.

Speaking at a conference in the Sports Anti-Piracy Summit on Wednesday, Santos Laguna president Irarragorri said: "For me, the similarities that Mexico has with the north [the United States] are greater than towards the south and I'm a loyal believer that we should consolidate our alliance with the MLS and make a really strong league that can compete with Asia, Europe or anywhere.”

When asked if he was referring to a combined league, Irarragorri said: "A North American league. Why not?"

The United States, Mexico and Canada are already set to work together as they will host the 2026 World Cup but, according to Chivas vice-president Amaury Vergara, there is hope that is just the start of the partnership between the nations.

While Vergara did not speak directly on a joint league, he wants a union of some sort between the trio of nations.

"We definitely have to make an alliance and involve the three countries [Mexico, United States, Canada]," Vergara said. "Attendance at our games in the United States is growing and we have to look for more, even looking for brands as an industry to find a way to unite the countries more."

In October 2018, Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla discussed the possibility of a combined league featuring teams from all three countries as a means for the regions teams to compete financially with the top competitions in Europe.

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"It's a possibility, a North American league," Bonilla said at the time. "We have to determine how and see the pros and cons but I think that's a way to grow and to compete again.

"If we can make a World Cup then we can make a North American league or a North American Cup. The main idea is that we have to grow together to compete. If not, there is only going to be the rich guys in Europe and the rest of the world.

"We think this opportunity with the World Cup in 2026 opens the door for us to make a lot of things different and better."

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