Messi is joining Inter Miami, many fans may be interested in following MLS football. The format of club soccer in North America is slightly different. Five years ago David Beckham said “I think Miami needs a star,” in 2018. Five years later, Beckham and co-owners, signed the biggest star of football. Arguably the greatest player of all time. The World Cup winner, Lionel Messi.
Read this News: Messi Full Interview with Inter Miami
MLS league format vs European football
In Europe, the season runs from August to June. The MLS season runs from February/March to December.
There are a total of 29 teams in MLS, which are divided into 2 regions. Eastern and Western Conference. Although the conferences are different, they play in the same tournament. 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 teams in the Western Conference. There is no relegation here.
The USA is a big country, and the distance between clubs in one conference and others is too big, so it is divided into 2 regions so that more matches are played in their conference and fewer matches are played in the other conference.
MLS Team Tournaments
US Open Cup: This is a tournament like Copa del Rey or FA Cup. Here all the teams of the league participate and the matches are in knockout format.
2Supporters Shield: The first team to win the Supporters Shield after playing 26 matches with their conference team and 8 matches with the other conference team for a total of 34 matches. Like European football league titles. But it is not their main domestic tournament, the main domestic tournament is the MLS CUP.
MLS Cup: The top 9 teams from the Eastern Conference and the top 9 teams from the Western Conference play each other in a knockout format to determine the winner of this tournament. This is the main domestic tournament in the USA. Its knockout round is very interesting to watch.
Campeones Cup: A one-match Super Cup tournament between the MLS Cup winner and the Liga MX winner (Mexico’s league).
League’s Cup: This is the newly added tournament. Earlier it was done with 8/16 teams. The new edition will be organized on a large scale this season. The tournament will feature 47 first-division teams from MLS, Liga MX and Canada. The winner will be determined through the group and knockout format and the top 3 teams will directly qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. Their leagues will be closed during this month-long tournament.
CONCACAF Champions League: This is North America’s UCL. The format of this tournament will also change from the next season. In that case, there may be a slight change in the rules for MLS teams to qualify for this tournament. Currently, 4 teams out of 29 MLS teams qualify (Eastern & western conference topper, US Open Cup winner and MLS Cup winner).
Club World Cup: If any team win CONCACAF Champions League, they can participate in the quarter-finals of the Club World Cup.
However, there is no super cup like UEFA Super Cup in the region. Because CONCACAF’s 2nd tier continental tournament has been cancelled in 2022. Instead, the Leagues Cup & Champions League have been expanded.
Some facts about MLS
MLS teams are weak in the CONCACAF Champions League. Only 3 times in history has an MLS team won this trophy. The dominance of the Mexican team can be seen here. Inter Miami is a very new team. They have never won a title Being a new team, Inter Miami is also a weak team in terms of strength. They are currently at the bottom of the table in their conference.
Messi is currently in Argentina camp. After the national friendlies, he will have a month off for vacation. He will play in the new edition of the Leagues Cup on July 21. However, if he doesn’t participate in the Leagues Cup, Messi will have to wait for another month to make his debut. The current challenge for Messi in the mid-season at his new club is to win the US Open Cup, and Leagues Cup and qualify the team for the MLS Cup.