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A beginner’s guide to Liga MX Femenil

First established in 2016, Liga MX Femenil has grown into one of the most competitive professional women's futbol leagues in the world.

Are you looking to add more women’s soccer to your life? Are you looking for a new league to follow that isn’t in Europe or the NWSL? It might be time to start following Liga MX Femenil. 

Liga MX Femenil was formed in December 2016 and played its first game in 2017. While it still is relatively new, it has seen a lot of growth in only a handful of years and will continue to grow and hopefully become a hot destination for players all over the world.

Of course, when you follow a new league you will have lots of questions. So here’s a quick beginner’s guide that will hopefully answer any questions you may have. 

How similar is it to the men’s league?

Very. Liga MX Femenil follows the exact format as Liga MX, so if you are familiar with the men’s side there isn’t a lot of new information to share. 

Liga MX Femenil features eighteen teams that match their men’s counterparts. Liga MX Femenil also splits the year into two mini-seasons: the Apertura (opening), and the Clausura (closing).  Each year features two champions, with a Campeón de Campeones decided via a two-leg series (which differs from the men’s league). 

Each team plays every team once during a season (a total of seventeen games), and the top eight teams advance to the Liguilla. The league originally used a different postseason format, but after a few years the league dropped the group system entirely and every team fought for a spot in the top eight and the Liguilla. 

There is no promotion or relegation in Liga MX Femenil, and there is no second division. When a team on the men’s side was promoted into the first division one of the requirements was the team had to field a women’s team, with no exceptions. When Ascenso MX folded on the men’s side during the pandemic, that essentially stopped the addition of any new teams for the women’s league. 

Which teams should I follow?

Just like on the men’s side, Liga MX Femenil has their top four “grandes” who are considered the best in the league. And in this case, their grandes are the only teams to have won a title. 

Tigres de UANL, or just Tigres (and sometimes called Las Amazonas), is the most successful team in the league. They have won the championship five times: Clausura 2018, Clausura 2019, Apertura 2020, Clausura 2021, and Apertura 2022. They play in the Estadio Universitario but fans call it ‘El Volcán’, or the Volcano because of the loud and passionate environment the fan base creates. 

Club de Guadalajara commonly goes by Chivas, and they have won the title twice, first in Apertura 2017 (the very first season) and then again during Clausura 2021. Much like the men’s side, the team experienced a lot of hardships since their start but were able to find their way back to the top. They were also declared the first ever Campeón de Campeones back in May. 

The Rayadas de Monterrey also has two titles: Apertura 2019 and Apertura 2021. The Rayadas play their home matches at the Estadio BBVA, one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world. Their current head coach, Eva Espejo, is also the first-ever female coach to reach 100 matches in the league. 

Club América has only won one championship: Apertura 2018. They are often referred to as the Aguilas (Eagles) and play their home games in the Estadio Azteca. América also holds the record for the biggest crowd for a Liga MX Femenil game (52,654), recorded during the final of Apertura 2021.  

Those are the big four, but there are other teams in the league trying to break through. And much like their male counterparts, they all have something unique to offer. 

Where can I watch Liga MX Femenil?

The television situation is a bit tricky in the United States. In Mexico, every team has the opportunity to partner with whatever TV station they want. This also applies to the United States where currently ViX, Telemundo, ESPN Deportes, and Fox Deportes show games for some teams. 

While it is disappointing that not all games are shown on television, the positive is that most teams stream their home games from their YouTube or Facebook accounts. So if a game isn’t on television, don’t worry, it will be made available through an official page. 

What should I look out for?

There are a few storylines to follow this season. 

Can Tigres win their sixth title and third in a row? Will Spanish international Jenni Hermoso help lead Pachuca to its first-ever title? Will San Luis, Juárez, Necaxa, and Mazatlán make their first-ever Liguilla appearance? Will a new team finally be able to defeat the top four and win a championship?

As is normal in Mexico, Liga MX Femenil is a league known for chaos, and rightfully so. Just buckle up and enjoy the ride. You won’t regret tuning in!