Is the Mexican National Team Fueling MLS Growth and Popularity?

Lead Photo: Photo is licensed under the CC BY 2.0 license.
Photo is licensed under the CC BY 2.0 license.
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Mexico’s many friendly games around the United States might actually be the fuel for the MLS’s rapid expansion and the development of U.S. youth soccer programs.

In an interview with ESPN, MLS commissioner Don Garber stated that the MLS is losing money but raising its profile. By signing international stars, the MLS has been able to pull more eyes, and the league has even signed a few contracts with European TV networks. Still, despite all of this, according to Garber the MLS is still in investment mode.

The truth about the MLS’ finances however, might be a little more complex than Garber’s depiction. He never stated just how much money the MLS is losing, and how the losses compare to the profits of Soccer United Marketing; the MLS’s marketing branch.

SUM, after all, is responsible for organizing the Gold Cup every two years, and Mexico’s many –MANY- molero games in the United States. And if we’ve learned anything about the Gold Cup and Mexican National Team’s frequent games in the United States, it’s that money is definitely on everybody’s minds.

This year alone, Mexico will play 8 international friendly games, in addition to the Gold Cup and Confederations Cup elimination game against the United States. As we all know, Mexico sells in the United States, and it does so expensively. The average price for the cheapest Mexico game tickets in a U.S. stadium is more than three times the price in Mexican stadiums.

So ironically, the Mexican team’s popularity in the United States, which gives it millions in profits each year, has helped with the development of United States soccer and has made it lose its title of CONCACAF giant. If we’re honest, the MLS will probably surpass La Liga MX in success and profitability very soon – after all, the MLS top salaries are already much higher (almost triple) than the top salaries in Mexico.