MLS, Liga MX need to foment rivalry, says Decio de Maria

The Liga MX and MLS should take advantage of the U.S.-Mexico football rivalry to help bolster growth, according to Mexican football federation (FMF) president Decio de Maria.

There are already a number of proposals on the table to do just that, he said, with one including a club competition.

"These two leagues have to grow in tandem, with one central concept: the rivalry between Mexican and United States football," said De Maria on ESPN's Futbol Picante.

"At league level, they have to create parallel projects of importance ... Football [leagues] in North America have to grow strategically together to make a very important region of clubs."

It isn't the first time De Maria has suggested the idea of a club competition between the two leagues.

In December 2014, the former Liga MX president said club owners had discussed the idea of adding MLS teams into the Copa MX.

MLS seemed to be open to the idea.

"We believe the more competition we can have between MLS and Liga MX clubs, whether in official tournaments or exhibition tournaments, is a positive for both leagues," Todd Durbin, MLS vice president for player relations and competition, told ESPNFC last December.

One obstacle could be the regional CONCACAF Champions League, in which clubs from North America and the Caribbean compete for the trophy and a place at the Club World Cup.

In this season's edition, all four quarterfinals pit MLS sides against Liga MX teams.

Clubs from MLS and Liga MX also competed in the SuperLiga in the United States between 2007 and 2010, although it was discontinued ahead of the 2011 edition to be replaced by the World Cup Challenge.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber cited the revamped CONCACAF Champions League format in 2011 as the principle reason behind dissolving the SuperLiga.