Another season, another CONCACAF Champions League with crucial battles between MLS and Liga MX clubs.
If it seems like clubs from these two leagues go head-to-head in the competition every season, that’s because they do. In fact, a Liga MX or MLS club has played in the North American Continental Championship final every season since its Champions League relaunch in 2008.
Still, the rivalry between the leagues has been one-sided. No MLS club has ever won the CONCACAF Champions League in its current iteration, having to date back to 2000 when it was known as the CONCACAF Cup and LA Galaxy won the tournament.
Four of the last six finals have been between two Liga MX teams, with no MLS club having even reached the league game. Winning the title has become the holy grail for the American and Canadian teams.
MORE: Latest riots in Liga MX game
Here’s a look at the all-time series and a look at this year’s competition.
Head to head MLS vs Liga MX in 2022
The battles between MLS and Liga MX clubs continued in 2022 with three head-to-head encounters in the quarter-finals.
A clash between CF Montreal and Santos Laguna in the Round of 16 was the competition’s first MLS vs. Liga MX clash.
|Round||MLS clubs||MX League Club||first leg||second leg||AGGREGATE|
|Round of 16||FC Montreal||Santos Lagoon||0-1||3-0||3-1|
|Quarter-finals||Seattle Sounders||Club Leon||3-0||1-1||4-1|
|Quarter-finals||New England Revolution||Puma UNAM||3-0||0-3||3-3 (3-4 pens)|
|Quarter-finals||FC Montreal||Cruz Azul||0-1||1-1||1-2|
|Finals||Seattle Sounders||Puma UNAM|
MLS All-Time Records vs. Liga MX
MLS fans be warned: this section will make for ugly reading.
Since the launch of the new CONCACAF Champions League in 2008-09, every tournament has been won by a Liga MX club. As you’ve probably gathered, that means no MLS team has ever won the competition in its current format.
MORE: New England take 3-0 first leg lead against Pumas
Only four MLS teams have even reached the 13 Champions League finals, and they were all beaten by a Mexican club in the last hurdle.
|Year||Final result (incl. aggregate goals)||Format of the finals|
|2022||Seattle Sounders vs. UNAM Pumas||two legs|
|2020||tigers 2LAFC 1||Single match|
|2018||Chivas 3FCToronto 3 (4-3 pens)||two legs|
|2015||Club America 5Montreal Impact 3||two legs|
|2011||Monterrey 3real salt lake 2||two legs|
Since 2008, Liga MX teams have won 34 of the head-to-head clashes against MLS clubs and lost 11. That has leveled off recently, however.
MORE: Premier League table, title and relegation battles
In the last two tournaments, Mexican clubs have won seven of the head-to-head clashes, including the 2020 final, but MLS sides have also won four clashes, indicating the gap could potentially to fill.
MLS struck first in this year’s competition, with CF Montreal beating Santos Laguna in the only clash between the two leagues in the Round of 16. However, Liga MX won two of the quarter-final clashes, including a strong comeback by UNAM Pumas against England’s New Revolution despite trailing 3-0 after the first leg.