Tigres aiming to break Mexican clubs’ Campeones Cup hoodoo
The unofficial trophy has been disputed since 2018 between the MLS Cup Champion and the Liga MX Campeón de Campeones winners.
Tigres have the chance to a lift a new trophy this week - they will be contesting the Campeones Cup with Los Angeles FC. UANL, now coached by Robert Dante Siboldi, won the first edition of the tournament in 2018 - however, they remain the only Mexican team to have achieved the feat and is also the first Liga MX team to participate on more than one occasion.
Founded in 2018, the Campeones Cup pits the the winners of the MLS Cup against the Liga MX Campeón de Campeones winners (a cup competition between the Apertura and Clausura champions). Tigres won the inaugural edition, beating Totonto 1-3. A brace from Jesús Dueñas and an own goal from Erik Zavaleta
Technically, the Campeones Cup is a friendly match - the title does not have the endorsement of Concacaf, much less FIFA, so winning it is merely a symbolic act.
In the next three editions, the Aztec teams suffered three defeats in a row - in 2019, América lost 3-2 to Atlanta United; Cruz Azul were beaten by Columbus Crew in 2021, crashing to a 2-0 defeat in Ohio. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. New York City won the most recent contest, beating Atlas 2-0 at Yankee stadium to become the third consecutive MLS team to win the trophy.
With that in mind, the current Liga MX champions will be trying to enhance Mexican teams’ profile in this competition and in general, as they appear to have lost their dominance over their neighbors in recent years - this summer’s Leagues Cup being proof of how far they have dropped.