Friday, March 02, 2018

CONCACAF Champions League play-offs

The CONCACAF Champions League has reached the round of 16, and tonight the team from El Salvador, Santa Tecla, was hoping to make an upset against the MLS side Seattle Sounders after winning 2-1 in El Salvador. After a good first half, the Salvadoreans fell apart deep into the second half, and lost 4-0.
Very disappointing but at the same time it was a good show against an MLS side which, as all MLS sides, think they are much better than they are...
Seattle Sounders will face Chivas Guadalajara in the quarterfinals. Chivas are in a deep crisis in the Mexican League; they are unlikely to make the play-offs and in reality Champions League are their only hope for a title. While this could be the time for Sounders to be facing a Chivas side in crisis, one has to consider the absolute dominance by Mexican teams in the CONCACAF Champions League: of the four Mexican sides participating, all have made it to the quarterfinals. Since the tournament was introduced in 2008, it has been won by Mexican sides every single year. In fact, in all but two years (2010 and 2015) the final has been between Mexican sides. In 2016, all four semi-finalists were Mexican sides. This just illustrates that the Mexican League remains far superior to any league in the CONCACAF region, including the MLS, and when MLS sides compare themselves to other sides, they should look to smaller leagues than the Mexican, which is certainly the much stronger than the MLS.
The coming quarterfinals of the tournament will see the following clashes:
  • Club America-Tauro
  • Toronto FC-Tigres UANL
  • Tijuana-New York Red Bulls
  • Seattle Sounders-Guadalajara
I hope particularly Tigres UANL through, after the fantastic final I watched them play in December last year. I also hope Chivas destroy Seattle, avenging Santa Tecla, and saving their poor season.

No comments: