Santos Laguna knocking out Club America at Estadio Azteca on Sunday night raised an old question about playoffs. What happens when the big teams representing the big cities can't get to the final?
Though leagues like to argue otherwise, it doesn't take much to figure out that the big teams from the big cities draw the biggest ratings. There's a reason an LA vs NYC final in American sports makes so much sense. Their combined metropolitan markets are over 30 million people. Last year's NBA final had a combined local market size of just under 7 million.
It matters when a team like Club America exits early. Though there might be multiple teams to choose from in Mexico's capital, only one of them plays in the biggest stadium and fights Chivas for the best supported team in North America. Chivas, our new Concacaf champions, didn't even qualify for the Clausura playoffs.
That takes nothing away from the Toluca vs Santos Laguna final, but it's hard to miss that Mexico City's metro market comes in at just over 20 million. That's bigger than either New York City's or LA's, and of course with Club America it means more than just the local audience. Toluca is just under 2 million. Torreon, the home city of Santos, is just under 1.5 million.
We're over twenty years into the short season era for Mexico's topflight. That's been better to Club America than Chivas, but neither of them have dominated. Club America has four titles in the Apertura - Clausura era with three for Chivas. Both Toluca and Santos have more since the 1996 format switch.
There's only been one El Super Clasico final, and that came when the original NASL was still in business. Imagine what that would mean for Liga MX now.
The NASL updates the situation with their antitrust lawsuit. The LA Times' Kevin Baxter explains what World Cup rosters might mean for LAFC. MLSsoccer.com's Matthew Doyle updates his MLS rankings. FourFourTwo's Steve Davis takes issue with DC United's rumored move for Wayne Rooney.
The NY Times' Rory Smith on Arsene Wenger's last game with Arsenal. The Independent's Jack Pitt-Brooke on expectations for Premier League champions Manchester City. The Guardian Sport Network's Adam White and Eric Devin explain Lille's issues in Ligue 1.
AP reports that Real Madrid is supporting FIFA's plan to expand the Club World Cup. Writing for KeirRadnedge.com, James M Dorsey explains the schisms happening in the Asian Football Confederation.
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