- Jun 26, 2014
The Major League Baseball system isn't one that's worth copying too closely, imo. The two different leagues were established specifically to compete as businesses/leagues, not as a way of sensibly organizing the teams. Baseball's sorting of its teams is kind of artificial, from a sporting perspective. iirc, both the NBA and the NFL absorbed other leagues to become what they are today. If you were building a baseball league from scratch today, you wouldn't divide the teams between AL and NL. You might divide them geographically, though, for logistical/travel reasons. A North American soccer league could be split up into geographical divisions. Maybe it might end up looking more like the NHL or something. I also don't love the NFL's unbalanced schedule, but they have to deal with a sport in which you can't impose too many games on the players. NFL players wouldn't survive a long season, so they just have to deal with that somehow. I would think a 30-team North American soccer league would be doable, with geographical divisions. You probably wouldn't have the elegant, home-and-away series between every team, like you have in 20-team leagues. 58 games sounds excessive. But I think you could have "home-and-away" between teams in a division, and then just 1 game per season against teams in the other divisions, alternating home and away each season (and ensuring that each team has an equal number of home and away games each season, of course). If there were three, 10-team divisions, that would make 38 games for each team.I think it could work if they do it right, but I'm skeptical. Right now the only time MLS sides meet Mexican sides is in the champions league and other continental competitions. As a result these competitions seem special and unique. It's like a "final boss" sort of situation. You play local clubs in your local league all season, and those few special clubs who qualify for the continental competition end up facing strong Mexican sides. Away games are a whole different game when this happens and home legs have a different feel as well, a sort of.. carnival feel. If MLS sides were facing Liga MX sides every week, that would take away some of that magic and uniqueness of these other competitions IMO.
One idea I've seen thrown around (by fans) was that you'd have Liga MX clubs in their own division and MLS sides in another one. Sort of like American baseball is split into 2 leagues. You'd have occasional inter-league play, but it would be minimal. The top clubs from both leagues would then face off in the playoffs at the end of the year and fight for the North American cup or whatever.
That might work, but it would take away from the magic of the champions league too.. If the playoffs feel the same as the champions league knockout round.. what's the point then? So I'm not really convinced, but I am a bit intrigued, because playing Mexican sides is always fun. Our players seem to relish the opportunity to play against such strong opposition (We just beat the Mexican champions last week, our players are always pumped up for these matches)