The Liga MX Apertura 2022 competition will begin this coming Saturday, July 2. The competition between Atlas vs. Pumas is exciting as fans are eager for the third title. But there are also other teams who can come out as a dark horse.
In the history of short tournaments, Atlas is a two-time champion, and they are hoping for a third victory. Hugo Sánchez’s Pumas and Gustavo Matosas’s León are the only two-time champions since Winter 1996 after The Atlas, who won the Liga MX in the Apertura 2021 for the first time since 1951, successfully defended their titles and also took home the Clausura 2022 trophy. Many teams are in the run, but fans are looking for Atlas vs. Pumas.
Being the third team to win three titles straight is now the challenge. Nobody has done it in the tournament. Additionally, neither Pumas nor León were really near to the triplet.
Atlas vs Pumas : Championship History
Due to the group structure, Pumas won the two-time champion in the 2004 Apertura; under the current regulations, they wouldn’t have even qualified for the Liguilla. The auriazules had a nightmarish ending 2005.
Pumas barely added 14 points despite Bruno Marioni’s return. The 2013 Apertura was their worst short tournament to that period and to this day (11 points). Team League’s standings were four victories, two ties, and eleven losses, keeping it more than 10 points behind the Liguilla.
To make matters worse, it was the CONCACAF champion’s season in which Pumas lost to Saprissa in the championship game.
The León did not perform horribly, but it also failed to reach the Liguilla. The player’s casualties were a major factor.
Two important members of the two-time champion team, Rafa Márquez and Matas Britos left the emerald team for Hellas Verona and Pumas, respectively. We must also consider Luis Montes’ fracture, which prevented him from playing in the 2014 Apertura and occurred before the World Cup in Brazil.
La Fiera could be the Dark Horse
La Fiera was getting closer to entering the Liguilla covertly. They required a complex confluence of outcomes to enter seventh on the path to the two-time championship, and it appeared that the pattern was repeating again. They finished ninth on the final day but were excluded from the celebration and could not compete for the three-peat due to their loss in Tijuana and Pumas’ victory over Rayados. It’s interesting to note that America replaced the two-time champion.
Teams who hold the Title three times
The two teams that actually won the Mexican soccer championship three times.
Only two teams have ever captured the Liga MX three times or more in a row, and the last time it happened was almost 50 years ago.
The Champion was the first. Chivas won two more games after winning four straight (1959, 1960, 1961, and 1962), but they lost the final to Gold in 1963, depriving the Flock of the opportunity to make it seven straight victories.
The triple championship was not seen again until a decade later, when Cruz Azul won in 1972, 1973, and 1974. Toluca ended its reign in a tournament defined by a final home run between four teams: the Devils, the Machine, León, and Curtidores, with the Celestes finishing last.
Atlas vs Pumas: What to expect in the 2022-23 season?
With a solid roster core remaining in place, Manager Diego Cocca’s team has been strengthened with players like Dominguez, Manotas, and Flores. However, Los Rojinegros will need to continue to perform above their weight if they are to repeat the success. Even if it seems impossible, they managed to win their last two trophies, so perhaps they can do it again.
After the Pumas’ paper-thin lineup stunned everyone last season, many people speculated about what may have been possible if they had another attacker or two. Pumas went all the way to the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League final and Liga MX playoffs last season. Del Prete, a seasoned 26-year-old Argentine striker who tied for the third-most goals in the 2021 Copa Sudamericana, enters the game. Adding, Eduardo Salvio of Boca Juniors should help them with their offensive issues. Still, it will be a risk and allow Talavera and Mozo to leave the team.
The inaugural match of the 2022-23 season
The Atlas, winners of two consecutive Mexican tournaments, have a demanding schedule beginning on Day 1 when they play the Club América. This Saturday, July 2, the Liga MX Apertura 2022 competition will get off.
With América, a team that is consistently one of the favorites and that after having concluded Clausura 2022 in terrific form and remaining in the Semifinals versus Pachuca, the Atlas calendar will be difficult from matchday one.