Thanks to both Cruz Azul and Seattle Sounders clinching their spot in this year’s edition of the CONCACAF Champions League QFs, the stage has been set for yet another epic showdown between Liga MX and MLS clubs, only to further the long-existing rivalry. During the Round-of-16, only one out of the eight fixtures featured such a matchup, and it was won by the MLS, with CF Montréal overcoming a shell version of the Santos Laguna we’ve gotten used to of late by 3-1 on aggregate, without discrediting Montréal in any way, of course.
And so, here we sit yet again with eight teams remaining, vastly dominated by the American and Mexican soccer leagues. Out of the eight clubs, four belong to MLS, three to Liga MX, and the lone remaining one to the Liga Nacional (Guatemala’s top flight). The first MLS - Liga MX QF matchup is between Seattle Sounders and Club León, with the first leg taking place in Seattle. The second matchup will feature New England Revolution and Pumas UNAM. Again, the first leg will be played on US soil; in Gillette Stadium to be more exact. The third and last of these matchups will see Cruz Azul taking on CF Montréal. Cruz Azul will host the first leg in this one. The other QF matchup will involve the current MLS champs New York City FC and Guatemalan club Comunicaciones.
All first legs will be played between the dates of March 8-10, while the second legs will take place exactly one week later, between March 15-17. MLS leads the series with Liga MX in this year’s edition by 1-0, but these three series can go either way and will prove whether Liga MX continues to dominate the region or if MLS has started to gain ground on the Mexican clubs. Whatever the case may be, a USA - Mexico showdown always promises excitement, and this should be no different.