When speaking about the MLS many aspects are discussed to make them a more legitimate league as Relegation to make teams more competitive, eliminating designated players to pay mid-level players a more regular wage and there not being a huge disparity between star players, and over expansion, as they have struggled with in the past.
One thing not discussed as much to be changed is a schedule more akin to Europe or South American leagues. Liga MX, for example, is heading into week 7 of play and are almost at the midpoint. Meanwhile, MLS teams are in pre-season. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if any competition wasn’t around this point, but there is. The CONCACAF Champions League kicks off tonight Tuesday the 18th of February with Leon F.C taking on L.A.F.C.
Leon is currently 3rd on the Liga MX table winning three of their last five games. being led by a revamped and healthy Angel Mena that is looking to have another breakout season under coach Nacho Ambriz as he had a year ago. L.A.F.C comes into this game with players the caliber of Carlos Vela and not much else. They come in cold with the MLS season not starting until the 29th of February. Even if they were a couple of weeks into the MLS league they would be at a disadvantage in stamina, rhythm, and tactics but it’s an MLS team so throwing them in a 4-3-3 and letting them run up the field seems like the gameplan for every team in the U.S league.
Quality of league has a huge deal to do with it as there is more money currently in players in Liga MX and more competitive, but schedules importance can’t be discounted either. MLS teams could change the schedule and it would help because it can’t get much worse for them in the competition. The current leader of Concacaf championships is Liga MX’s very own Club America with 7 titles. Los Rayados de Monterrey is the reigning Champion from last year and added another one to their trophy cabinet making it 4 titles for them altogether from the CONCACAF Champions League. To put that into perspective the U.S has only won it in 2000 with LA Galaxy, and 1998 with D.C United and that was before it was labeled the Champions League trophy in 2008 and was still referred to as the “Champions Cup”.
Since 2010-2019 only three MLS teams made the final and none ended up winning it. Yes, there is a lot wrong with MLS and they have a ways to go before being compared to Liga MX, but sometimes you need to fake it until you make it. That begins with them having the same schedule and helping them be on the same playing field even though they will be outmatched talent-wise tactic wise, and fan base wise.