MLS Teams Downed In CCL Play

MLS Teams Downed In CCL Play

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 26, 2010
  • 2010/11 CCL

A 5-4 loss like last night's for RSL is never easy to swallow. (MexSport)

Well we hoped this would be the year that MLS teams showed up and played nicely in the CONCACAF Champions League. We hoped. But yet again our league goes into this competition and brings home more disappointments. Last week there was optimism after three straight MLS wins in the CCL and now there is just plain bitterness.

Last night’s two games may have been the worst for the league yet even. After we all saw what happened on Tuesday night for Columbus and Toronto in the tournament, we hoped Seattle and Real Salt Lake would be a bright spot for the league.

Seattle was at home, a place they should win at, even if it is against a pretty good Mexican side like Monterrey. The Sounders never found their way at home and lost 2-0 in a rather dud of a game. Seattle was outplayed and outclassed on all over the field.

But no bigger disappointment than what happened with RSL in Mexico last night. MLS and US Soccer in general was 15 minutes away from a monumental win on Mexican soil but what happened was something that should make the average MLS fan sick. Being up 3-1 in the 75′ minute RSL gave up three straight goals before pulling one back thanks to Will Johnson. A 4-4 tie would have been alright but with the extra few minutes in stoppage time that seemed to go on forever Cruz Azul hammered another goal home to make it 5-4.

Yes 5-4. And I won’t even get into how terrible that field was there last night. The conditions were pathetic but its CONCACAF so we should expect that.

Call it a collapse. Call it a big let down. Call it whatever. The fact is MLS teams are 0-4 away from home once again in this tournament and look like they couldn’t have gotten beaten down any further.

Its hard to take a positive away from the 5-4 loss for RSL. Yes they were up 3-1, and yes they even battled to get it to 4-4. But there is no getting around this kind of heartbreak. I also wonder what psychological damage this could do to the defending champions. A loss like this is never easy to put behind you even if you try hard to.

But the optimistic person in me has to find positives somehow here. The gap between the FMF clubs and MLS clubs is closing. Columbus showed that Tuesday night with a “B” squad and RSL definitely showed they weren’t laying down for a draw last night.

The gap between the two leagues is still there though and this year’s tournament will likely end up resembling the last two with all four Mexican teams moving on and meeting in the semifinals together. But the future is still bright for MLS clubs in Mexico, that I definitely still believe in.