Friday night Rising FC had their “Rising Ball”. I’m sure there will be similar events once Major League Soccer brings the Phoenix franchise into the fold. While there’s still quitelegwork to be done on that front, my inbox has been stuffed with questions surrounding the reported potential merger between MLS and Mexico’s LIGA MX. Enrique Bonilla, President of LIGA MX, said earlier this week “It’s a possibility, a North American league. We have to determine how and see the pros and cons but I think that’s a way to grow and to compete, “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.” MLS executive vice president of communications Dan Courtemanche told reporters that conversation already occurred between the Leagues. “In March, Major League Soccer entered into a formal partnership with Liga MX.“We have been discussing with Liga MX additional ways we can collaborate on and off the field, and we are excited about the future opportunities that exist between our two leagues.” The two leagues have a combined 41 teams(18 in Liga MX, 23 in MLS). Rising FC would be in a position to strength if the merger were to happen. Arizona has a strong Liga MX following from my understanding. It would be another market that could potentially deliver strong TV ratings for League sponsors.
Saturday nights match against Portland T2 will be the end of the Didier Drogba regular season era in Phoenix. Drogba brought a much needed name and face to the franchise upon arrival. He has had the bobble head and has slowly handed off the torch to the young guns. From the outside looking in, it seems as though the timing is right for his departure on the field. I spoke with him about retirement back in the Spring.