CONCACAF Champions League draw results & bracket: Liga MX, MLS renew rivalry

Can anyone stop the Liga MX clubs in the CONCACAF Champions League? That will again be the theme of the competition after the draw for the 2022 edition conducted Dec. 15 in Miami. 

Liga MX has dominated the competition, winning every single edition since the relaunch of the tournament. In 2022, it will be up to Club Leon, Cruz Azul, Pumas UNAM and Santos Laguna to keep Mexico’s streak alive. Defending champion Monterrey did not qualify for the 2022 edition. Teams from the USA, Canada, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica will once more attempt to disrupt that regional supremacy for the first time.

One side of the 2022 bracket could see a quarterfinal featuring Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Club Leon (Mexico) in a rematch of their memorable 2021 Leagues Cup final. Meanwhile, a potential New York City FC vs. Colorado Rapids quarterfinal would guarantee Major League Soccer a team in the semis.

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The draw wasn’t kind to Canadian clubs Forge FC Hamilton and CF Montreal; both will have to take on Mexican sides to start the Round of 16. Depending on the results of those head-to-heads, we could see an all-Canadian or all-Mexican quarterfinal.

The knockout tournament begins with the Round of 16 and every round will feature a two-leg, home-and-home series to decide each matchup. The team that scores the most goals advances (tiebreaker info follows below). Here are the results of the draw:

CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 draw

The Round of 16 matches will be played in February. The first legs will take place Feb. 15-17, followed by the second legs on Feb. 22-24. The seeded team in each series will host the second match.

Rd of 16 Home team – 1st leg   Home team – 2nd leg
1 Guastatoya vs. Club Leon
2 FC Motagua vs. Seattle Sounders
3 Comunicaciones vs. Colorado Rapids
4 Santos de Guapiles vs. New York City FC
5 Deportivo Saprissa vs. Pumas UNAM
6 Cavaly AS vs. New England Revolution
7 Santos Laguna vs. CF Montreal
8 Forge FC Hamilton vs. Cruz Azul

CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals

These two legs will take place March 8-10 and March 15-17. It was predetermined that the clubs from Round of 16 matchup Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 7 will host the second leg of each quarterfinal series.

QFs Home team – 1st leg   Home team – 2nd leg
1 Motagua/Seattle vs. Guastatoya/Club Leon
2 Santos Guapiles/NYCFC vs. Comunicaciones/Colorado Rapids
3 Cavaly/New England vs. Deportivo Saprissa/Pumas UNAM
4 Forge FC/Cruz Azul vs. Santos Laguna/CF Montreal

CONCACAF Champions League semifinals & final

According to the official tournament rules, the four teams left standing in the semifinals will be ranked based on their 2022 Champions League results, with three points assigned for every win and one point for every draw through the quarterfinals. If necessary, tiebreakers in this ranking process will be a.) Overall goal difference and then b.) Overall goals scored through the quarterfinals.

The highest-ranked team in each of the semifinal and final matchups, based on the aforementioned points system, will host the second leg of the semifinals and final.

  Semifinalist No. 1   Semifinalist No. 2
  Motagua/Seattle/Gustatoya/Leon vs. Guapiles/NYCFC/Comunicaciones/Colorado
  Cavaly/New England/Saprissa/Pumas vs. Forge/Cruz Azul/ Santos/CF Montreal
  • Semifinals: April 5-7, April 12-14
  • Final: April 26-28, May 3-5

CONCACAF Champions League tiebreakers

In the case two teams are tied on aggregate goals after both legs of a series, here’s how the winner will be determined, per tournament regulations

Tiebreaker: Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals

The tiebreakers for the first three rounds of the tournament are:

  1. Most away goals scored;
  2. If teams are also tied on away goals scored, a penalty-kick shootout will determine the team that advances.

Tiebreaker: Final

The away-goals tiebreaker does not apply in the final. In case of a draw after 180 minutes of regulation play, the winner is determined by:

  1. Two 15-minute halves of extra time;
  2. If teams are still tied on aggregate goals after extra time, a penalty-kick shootout will determine the champion.

Teams qualified for the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League

The following 16 teams qualified for the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League. Ten teams qualified via domestic competition, while the other six earned a berth by finishing as one of the top six teams in the 2021 CONCACAF League.

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Club Country How Qualified
Cavaly AS Haiti 2021 Caribbean championship winner
CF Montreal Canada 2021 Canadian championship winner
Club Leon Mexico 2020 Liga MX Apertura champions
Colorado Rapids USA 2021 MLS Western Confernce regular-season winner
Comunicaciones Guatemala 2021 CONCACAF League winner
Cruz Azul Mexico 2021 Liga MX Clausura champions
Forge FC Canada 2021 CONCACAF League semifinalist
Guastatoya Guatemala 2021 CONCACAF League semifinalist
Motagua Honduras 2021 CONCACAF League finalist
New England Revolution USA 2021 MLS Eastern Conference regular-season winner
New York City FC USA 2021 MLS Cup champions
Pumas UNAM Mexico 2020 Liga MX Apertura runners-up
Saprissa Costa Rica 2021 CONCACAF League quarterfinalist (among best two)
Santos de Guapiles Costa Rica 2021 CONCACAF League quarterfinalist (among best two)
Santos Laguna Mexico 2021 Liga MX Clausura runners-up
Seattle Sounders USA Next highest-ranked in 2021 MLS Supporters’ Shield standings

How did the CONCACAF Champions League draw work?

The 16 teams were ranked by CONCACAF, with the top eight teams grouped into Pot 1 and the rest in Pot 2.

For the Round of 16, Pot 1 seeded teams were matched up against the unseeded teams in Pot 2, though clubs from the same country could not be drawn against one another in the Round of 16.

Pot 1 Pot 2
CF Montreal Cavaly AS
Club Leon Comunicaciones
Colorado Rapids Forge FC
Cruz Azul Guastatoya
New England Revolution Motagua
New York City FC Santos de Guapiles
Pumas UNAM Santos Laguna
Seattle Sounders Saprissa

The draw started with the eight unseeded Pot 2 teams, and after each name was drawn, that team’s place in the bracket was randomly selected from a different pot. The process was repeated with the seeded teams in Pot 1.

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CONCACAF Champions League winners

A Mexican club has won every edition of the CONCACAF Champions League since the competition was revamped and renamed ahead of the 2008-09 edition. All but four of the 13 finals have featured two Mexican teams.

Year Champion Runner-up
2021 Monterrey (Mexico) Club America (Mexico)
2020 UANL Tigres (Mexico) LAFC (USA)
2019 Monterrey (Mexico) UANL Tigres (Mexico)
2018 Chivas (Mexico) Toronto FC (Canada)
2016-17 Pachuca (Mexico) UANL Tigres (Mexico)
2015-16 Club America (Mexico) UANL Tigres (Mexico)
2014-15 Club America (Mexico) Montreal Impact (Canada)
2013-14 Cruz Azul (Mexico) Toluca (Mexico)
2012-13 Monterrey (Mexico) Santos Laguna (Mexico)
2011-12 Monterrey (Mexico) Santos Laguna (Mexico)
2010-11 Monterrey (Mexico) Real Salt Lake (USA)
2009-10 Pachuca (Mexico) Cruz Azul (Mexico)
2008-09 Atlante (Mexico) Cruz Azul (Mexico)

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