Friday, April 1, 2011

MLS, Primera Division de Mexico to Merge; More than Half of MLS Clubs to Contract

Sources, yes I have sources, have told me in confidence that Major League Soccer will announce on Nov. 1 that it will merge with the Primera Division de Mexico and will contract more than half of its current 18 teams. The newly formed continental league does not have a name yet, but is the first salvo in a planned marketing war against Europe's top leagues. Europe has long promised to break off its top teams and form a SuperLeague. This is the thinking behind the Primera-MLS merger.

The Mexican league is apparently in deep financial trouble, something that's about to be made public in the coming weeks. It's trying to reach out the U.S. in order to tap the fledgling soccer market here, in particular on the West Coast and in the southern states. The Primera also promises to invest in U.S. player development camps, a la the academies that most of Europe's top clubs sponsor and support. The hopes are that the U.S. financial resources combined with Mexico's established football training philosophies will groom future stars not only for the new continental league, but for two countries' respective national teams.

The contraction decisions have not been made final by MLS or the affected clubs. The hope is that the clubs that are not invited to the newly formed continental league would form a second division of sorts. This gives legs to the notion that there may be relegation and promotion battles, and the elimination of MLS-style playoffs. The continental league would play on the world's football calendar and strictly adhere to FIFA rules and bylaws, especially with regard to stadia, pitches and other issues.

So the big question, I guess, is which teams would be contracted. I have seen an unofficial list and by the names on the list, I'm assuming these are the surviving teams:

  1. LA Galaxy
  2. Houston Dynamo
  3. FC Dallas
  4. San Jose Earthquakes
  5. Seattle Sounders
  6. New England Revolution
  7. NY Red Bulls
  8. DC United
  9. Real Salt Lake
  10. Columbus Crew

Obviously, none of the Canadian teams made the cut, nor did expansion Portland and Philadelphia. Can't wait to see how this shakes out. Stay tuned; I'm waiting on a couple of phone calls this afternoon and hopefully more details.


Charlie1 said...

who are your sorces

Charlie1 said...

who are your sources

Charlie1 said...

who are your sources

Unknown said...

That would make sense. Soccer is the primary sport in Mexico, and a merger like this would give instant credibility to American teams and make the overall league more viable. A Major League Soccer/Primera Division merger would create a fifth "Major" sport in the United States (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL), as the popularity of soccer in Mexico will really add to the overall viability of the sport in the US.