US & Mexico

June 3, 2008

North America’s top two leagues are the US and Mexican leagues.  While not in direct competition with each other, there has evolved a rivalry between the top teams in each league.


Major League Soccer is the US top division.  It does not have any relegation but continues to grow as expansion teams have been added over the last few years and two more teams will join in the next two seasons.

MLS saw a growth of publicity with the addition of David Beckham to the LA Galaxy in 2007.  Previous to this, MLS had a strict salary cap to prevent over spending by a couple of teams to the detriment of the rest of the league.

As the league has grown, so has the number of soccer only facilities for MLS teams.  Attendance is on par with Championship level teams in England.  With the success the league has had, it is still seen as a feeder league to European top level leagues.  Retaining top players will remain the toughest problem for the league as Europe’s money and competition beckon.

La Primera División

La Primera División is the top league in Mexican soccer.  Popular teams include Guadalajara (aka Chivas), América and Cruz Azul.  Champions are decided by a playoff at the end of the season with seeds being set by where the teams finished in the regular season.  The lowest rated team is relegated to Primera División A.

CONCACAF Champions League/Cup

In an effort to emulate the popularity of the Champions League in Europe, CONCACAF is changing their previous compeition, a tournament called the Champions Cup, to a new Champions League.  The cup was played every year with 8 different teams making up the tournament.  The Champions League will consist of 24 teams with more representation from non-MLS and Mexican teams.  Like the cup, the winner will represent CONCACAF in the FIFA Club World Cup.