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Liga MX Femenil U17 tournament set to start in Clausura 2022

Teams will have friendlies in October and November of 2021 before starting out in two groups in 2022.

Tigres v Mazatlan - Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Back on May 24, Liga MX Executive President Mikael Arriola announced that a U17 division of the Liga MX Femenil was going to be created. Since then, we haven’t heard much more information on when the league would come into play and what it would look like - until now.

FMF State of Mind has confirmed with the league that starting in October and November, teams will begin playing friendly matches with their U17 teams. Some teams such as América and Chivas already have functioning youth systems, while other like Necaxa are staging tryouts for their new teams.

The league also confirmed that the league would start in earnest with the 2022 Clausura, and it would be structured in two groups similar to the first seasons in Liga MX Femenil. In the first season, 16 of the 18 clubs in Liga MX fielded teams (Puebla and Lobos BUAP would come the following year), and the two groups were loosely based around proximity, with the Mexico City-area clubs (and Tijuana) being in Group 1 and clubs further away such as Monterrey and Santos as well as clubs to the west like Chivas and Atlas were in Group 2. The groups were abolished and the league went to single-table at the start of the 2019 Apertura. It is unclear how the teams would be divided in the new tournament.

This will be a truly monumental step in the development of the next generation of players in Mexico. For comparison, only a couple of teams in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US have their own youth programs, while others partner with private youth academies. While some Mexican teams already have youth systems, most clubs haven’t had a true mechanism to develop local players in-house and have instead relied on other teams and organizations to develop players.