Clausura 2021: New Liga MX season By the Numbers

León will be chasing back-to-back Liga MX titles this season. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images)
León will be chasing back-to-back Liga MX titles this season. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images) /

Eighteen Liga MX teams will chase 12 available playoff spots

Just 26 days after León hoisted the Guardianes 2020 trophy to claim its 8th Liga MX title, the new season kicks off with a triple header. The Friday night slate opens with Chivas at Puebla followed by Pumas at Tijuana then Necaxa at Mazatlán FC.

Saturday offers a highlight clash as Liga MX champs León visits Concacaf Champions League holders Tigres with Atlas-Monterrey and Atlético de San Luis-América on the undercard. Sunday’s three matches (Querétaro at Toluca; Cruz Azul at Santos; FC Juárez at Pachuca) bring down the curtain on Matchday 1.

Before we get to the numbers, it’s worth noting that Julio Furch – the ex-Santos striker acquired by Atlas – suffered a fractured ankle in practice this week and is expected to miss at least two months.

Now … on to the numbers …


The year that the Mexican Soccer League switched to short seasons. Santos Laguna won the very first short-season trophy, claiming the Invierno (Winter) 1996 title with a 4-3 aggregate win over two-time defending champion Necaxa.


The Clausura 2021 is the 50th short season in Liga MX history, including the Clausura 2020 which was officially canceled. As such, there have only been 48 short-season champions overall.


The number of yellow cards brandished at Necaxa players during the Guardianes 2020 season, tops in Liga MX. Cruz Azul, León and Santos saw the fewest yellow cards (27).


More from Liga MX

Liga MX officials authorized Mazatlán FC to sell 40% of its seats at “El Kraken” for Friday night’s season opener against Necaxa. Mazatlán – the league’s newest franchise after moving from Morelia last summer – was the only club authorized to allow fans to attend a game last season: Matchday 14 against FC Juárez.


Puebla’s Nicolás Larcamón is 36 years old, the youngest Liga MX coach. Tomás Boy, manager for Mazatlán FC, is the oldest coach at 69.


The number of teams that have won short-season championships. Toluca has won 7 of the 48 trophies to date, followed closely by Pachuca and Santos (both with 6). The Tigres and América have each won 5 short-season titles, the Pumas and Monterrey have 4, while the Chivas and  León have 3. Five teams have won one short-season title: Cruz Azul, Necaxa, Morelia, Atlante and Tijuana.


Cruz Azul forward Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodríguez led the Liga MX with 12 goals in the Guardianes 2020. André-Pierre Gignac (Tigres) followed with 11, while Juan Ignacion Dinenno (Pumas) and Darío Lezcano (FC Juárez) also reached double digits with 10 goals.


The number of former Cruz Azul players who later became head coaches of “La Máquina Azul” before Juan Reynoso accepted the position last week. None of the nine former players were able to lead the Cementeros to a league title. Reynoso played for Cruz Azul from 1994 to 2002 and was the team captain the last time the club won the Liga MX championship (Invierno 1997).


Seven consecutive Opening Day losses in a row for Pachuca. The Tuzos have been outscored 5-17 in those seven matches.

Also, Martín Rodríguez had 7 assists for Mazatlán FC to lead Liga MX last season. Rodríguez now suits up for the Pumas.


Six teams (Cruz Azul, América, Tigres, Tijuana, Toluca and Atlético de San Luis) did not get shown a straight red card last season. However, Toluca was the lone team that did not see a player get ejected during the Guardianes 2020 as the other five clubs saw players tossed for double yellows.


The number of positive Covid tests for León personnel (players, coaches and staff) reported by the team on Wednesday. Coach Ignacio Ambriz was briefly hospitalized with the virus last week, but has since returned to team headquarters.


Only four Liga MX teams had the same coach the entire 2020 calendar year.

Ignacio Ambriz – León

Paulo Pezzolano – Pachuca

Guillermo Almada – Santos

Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti – Tigres


Hat tricks scored during the Guardianes 2020 season. Víctor Dávila (now with León) did it for Pachuca in a 3-1 Tuzos win over visiting Atlético de San Luis on Matchday 8 and Camilo Sanvezzo netted three times for Mazatlán FC in the club’s 5-0 win at Atlético de San Luis on Matchday 16.

Next. The Big Four Liga MX clubs. dark


The “demotion percentage” that Atlas and Atlético de San Luis have in the Liga MX “Relegation Standings” as the Clausura 2021 season kicks off. Third-from-bottom is Tijuana at 1.0408. The three teams at the bottom of the “Relegation Standings” after the Clausura 2021 will have to pay a buy-in fee to remain in the top-flight league accordingly: 18th place – 120 million pesos; 17th place – 70 million pesos; 16th place – 50 million pesos.