Another season, another CONCACAF Champions League with pivotal battles between MLS and Liga MX clubs.
If it seems like clubs from these two leagues face off deep in the competition every season, that's because they do. In fact, a club from either Liga MX or MLS has contested the final of the North American continental championship in every season since it was relaunched as the Champions League 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, needing to go all the way back to 2000 when it was known as the CONCACAF Cup and the LA Galaxy won the tournament.
Four of the last six finals have been contested between two Liga MX sides, with no MLS club even reaching the championship game. Winning the title has become the holy grail for the American and Canadian sides.
Here is a closer look at the all-time series plus a closer look at this year's competition.
MLS vs Liga MX head-to-head in 2022
The battles between MLS and Liga MX clubs continued in 2022 with three head-to-head encounters in the quarterfinals.
A matchup between CF Montreal and Santos Laguna in the Round of 16 was the first MLS vs. Liga MX matchup of the competition.
|Round||MLS club||Liga MX club||First Leg||Second Leg||Aggregate|
|Round of 16||CF Montreal||Santos Laguna||0-1||3-0||3-1|
|Quarterfinals||Seattle Sounders||Club Leon||3-0||1-1||4-1|
|Quarterfinals||New England Revolution||UNAM Pumas||3-0||0-3||3-3 (3-4 pens)|
|Quarterfinals||CF Montreal||Cruz Azul||0-1||1-1||1-2|
|Finals||Seattle Sounders||UNAM Pumas|
MLS vs. Liga MX all-time records
MLS fans, be warned: This section will make for some ugly reading.
Since the inception of the revamped CONCACAF Champions League in 2008-09, every single tournament has been won by a Liga MX club. As you've probably figured out, that means no MLS side has ever won the competition in its current format.
Only four MLS teams have even made it the 13 Champions League finals, and they were all defeated by a Mexican club at the final hurdle.
|Year||Finals Result (incl. agg. goals)||Finals Format|
|2022||Seattle Sounders vs. UNAM Pumas||Two-leg|
|2020||Tigres 2, LAFC 1||Single match|
|2018||Chivas 3, Toronto FC 3 (4-3 pens)||Two-leg|
|2015||Club America 5, Montreal Impact 3||Two-leg|
|2011||Monterrey 3, Real Salt Lake 2||Two-leg|
Going all the way back to 2008, Liga MX sides have won 34 of the head-to-head matchups against MLS clubs and lost 11. That has evened out recently, however.
Over the last two tournaments, Mexican clubs have won seven of the head-to-head matchups, including the 2020 final, but MLS sides also won four matchups, indicating the gap could potentially be closing.
MLS struck first in this year's competition, with CF Montreal topping Santos Laguna in the only matchup between the two leagues in the Round of 16. However, Liga MX won two of the matchups in the quarterfinals, including a wild comeback by UNAM Pumas against New England Revolution despite trailing 3-0 after the first leg.