The wait is over! More than a year had to pass, 378 days to be exact, for the winners of the 2022 MLS Cup and the Campeón de Campeones to meet again in the Campeones Cup. Tonight at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, the home team, Los Angeles Football Club will host Club Tigres to settle who is the new king of North America, in the fight for the title that pits the best team in Major League Soccer against the best in LIGA MX.
If we take into account the results of the month of September, there is no doubt that Tigres arrive in better form than LAFC. With two wins in three games, Robert Siboldi's team arrives on an emotional high after last Saturday's 3-0 win against CF Monterrey in the Clásico Regio. It was a measure of revenge for the Nuevo León side after a loss in the last Leagues Cup against Rayados.
For their part, the team led by Steve Cherundolo has played five games this month, but only won once, in the Trafico against LA Galaxy, where, at home, they won 4-2 with a double from Dénis Bouanga and goals from Ryan Hollingshead and Timothy Tillman.
However, in their other four games they achieved two goalless draws, against St. Louis City SC and Philadelphia Union, and two defeats against Inter Miami CF and Portland Timbers.
Tigres look for a second title; LAFC for their first
The title that is at stake this Wednesday has different interests for each of these two teams. The LIGA MX team was the first winner of the Campeones Cup, when it defeated Toronto FC in the 2018 edition, and will seek to be the first team to win the title twice, in addition to taking this trophy back to Mexico, as, in the last three editions, the MLS teams won.
Meanwhile, LAFC will seek its first international title. The Black and Gold have came close on several occasions despite their short history since their founding in 2014, but they never managed to claim champion on the international level. In both 2020 and 2023 they played in the final of the Concacaf Champions League, but succumbed in the to Tigres and Club León.
LAFC and Club Tigres have played once before...
The final of the Concacaf Champions League in 2020 was the stage that saw the teams from Los Angeles and Nuevo León face off for the first time in their history. At that time, Tigres were the team that roared the loudest and won 2-1 in a closely-fought match.
The MLS side took the lead in the 61st minute with a goal from Diego Rossi, but the Mexicans reacted quickly and tied the game on 72 minutes. The winning goal was scored by André-Pierre Gignac almost at the end of regulation time, in the 84th minute, the "Ser de Luz" putting the ball into the back of the net to five the Nuevo León club its only international trophy to date.