MLS vs. Liga MX: Is the tide turning in Concacaf Champions League matchups

It’s always one of the key points of discussion whenever MLS faces off against Liga MX opponents in Concacaf Champions League: How far off are the MLS teams from catching up with their regional foes? And how much progress has already been made in closing the gap?

That debate sprung back to life this week with the resumption of the 2020 CCL at the quarterfinals stage. And while both NYCFC and Atlanta United bowed out to Liga MX opposition, LAFC earned a win over Cruz Aul on Wednesday night to advance to the semifinals.

There’s no doubt that Liga MX still has the significant advantage historically when it comes to the continental tournament. No MLS has ever won it, after all, and a Liga MX team has won the whole thing every year since 2005. 

When looking at the head-to-head matchups between teams from each league in CCL play since 2018, though, the splits aren’t as one-sided as you might think. In the last 29 games between the leagues in CCL play over that timeframe, Liga MX teams have won 15 compared to 12 victories for MLS, with two ties. Check out the game-by-game overview below.

MLS vs. Liga MX in Concacaf Champions League (2018-2020)

2018 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

QUARTERFINALS

Seattle Sounders FC 1, CD Guadalajara (MEX) 0
CD Guadalajara 3, Seattle Sounders FC 0
(CD Guadalajara win 3-1 on aggregate)

Club Tijuana (MEX) 0, New York Red Bulls 2
New York Red Bulls 3, Club Tijuana 1
(New York Red Bulls win 5-1 on aggregate)

Toronto FC 2, Tigres UANL (MEX) 1
Tigres UANL 3, Toronto FC 2
(aggregate 4-4; Toronto FC win on away goals)


SEMIFINALS

CD Guadalajara 1, New York Red Bulls 0
New York Red Bulls 0, CD Guadalajara 0
(CD Guadalajara win 1-0 on aggregate)

Toronto FC 3, Club América (MEX) 1
Club América 1, Toronto FC 1
(Toronto FC win 4-2 on aggregate)

FINAL

Toronto FC 1, CD Guadalajara 2
CD Guadalajara 1, Toronto FC 2
(aggregate 3-3; CD Guadalajara win 4-2 on penalties)

2019 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

ROUND-OF-16

Sporting Kansas City 3, CD Toluca (MEX) 0
CD Toluca 0, Sporting Kansas City 2
(Sporting Kansas City win 5–0 on aggregate)

QUARTERFINALS

New York Red Bulls 0, Club Santos Laguna (MEX) 2
Club Santos Laguna 4, New York Red Bulls 2
(Club Santos Laguna win 6–2 on aggregate)

Houston Dynamo 0, Tigres UANL (MEX) 2
Tigres UANL 1, Houston Dynamo 0
(Tigres UANL win 3–0 on aggregate)

CF Monterrey (MEX) 3, Atlanta United 0
Atlanta United 1, CF Monterrey 0
(CF Monterrey win 3-1 on aggregate)

SEMIFINALS

CF Monterrey 5, Sporting Kansas City 0
Sporting Kansas City 2, CF Monterrey 5
(CF Monterrey win 10–2 on aggregate)

2020 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

ROUND-OF-16

Club Leon (MEX) 2, Los Angeles FC 0
Los Angeles FC 3, Club Leon (MEX) 0
(Los Angeles FC win 3–2 on aggregate)

QUARTERFINALS

New York City FC 0, Tigres UANL (MEX) 1
Tigres UANL (MEX) 4, New York City FC 0
(Tigres UANL win 5-0 on aggregate)

Club América (MEX) 3, Atlanta United 0
Atlanta United 1, Club América (MEX) 0
(Club América win 3-1 on aggregate)

Los Angeles FC 2, Cruz Azul (MEX) 1 [single match played]
(Los Angeles FC advance)

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