All three MLS clubs in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League were eliminated by their Mexican opposition. Sporting KC suffered the worst drubbing of all. After beating Cruz Azul 1-0 in the first leg, they went to Mexico City and lost 5-1.
The current Liga MX leaders opened the scoring in the second minute and Mariano Pavone completed a hat trick in the 55th minute. But they saved their best goal for fourth.
With five passes started off by a throw-in — the final three of which all headed — Cruz Azul set up a goal for Christian Gimenez just stood there and watched. It was a beautiful display from the Mexican side and an equally embarrassing one for the MLS club. Perhaps the fact that everyone was wearing blue confused them.
Though we should never read too much into one game (or three), this round of results once again proves just how outmatched MLS clubs are when they play their less restricted neighbors to the south. Given MLS's tight salary cap and forced parity, competing outside the confines of the league is roughly equivalent to entering an auto race with a clamp on one wheel.
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