In the longtime rivalry between MLS and Liga MX, MLS clubs may be gaining gaining ground.
Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 second-leg victory over Toluca on Thursday was Major League Soccer's eighth victory in the last 14 head-to-head matches against Mexican clubs in the Concacaf Champions League over the last two editions of the tournament, and capped a 5-0 aggregate series win that ranks as one of the biggest in the history of the rivalry.
Final: Sporting KC 2, Toluca 0 (SKC advances 5-0 on aggregate)#SportingKC is the first American team EVER to defeat a Mexican club in CCL when second leg is played in Mexico.— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) March 1, 2019
Make no mistake. This is a hell of an accomplishment.
MLS clubs have compiled an 8W-4L-2D record against Liga MX teams dating back to last year's tournament, as compared with a meager 1W-8L-7D record in the three prior editions (2014-2017).
The upcoming quarterfinal stage of this year's CCL will serve up a healthy dose of MLS-Liga MX antagonism, with Atlanta United, the Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls facing CF Monterrey, Tigres UANL and Santos Laguna, respectively:
The big one continues to elude MLS, however. MLS clubs have come face to face against Liga MX opponents in the Champions League final on three occasions, and all three times it was a narrow loss for the MLS side.
Monterrey edged Real Salt Lake 3-2 on aggregate goals in the 2010-11 final. Club América needed a comeback at Olympic Stadium in the 2014-15 edition to beat out the Montreal Impact for the trophy, 5-3 on aggregate. And Toronto FC dropped a heartbreaking penalty-kick shootout in the 2018 final against Chivas Guadalajara after the teams finished even on aggregate goals 3-3.
MLS record vs. Liga MX clubs in CCL
- 2008-09: 1W-6L-3D
- 2009-10: 0W-6L-2D
- 2010-11: 3W-5L-2D
- 2011-12: 4W-8L-2D
- 2012-13: 2W-7L-1D
- 2013-14: 2W-2L-2D
- 2014-15: 0W-1L-3D
- 2015-16: 0W-4L-4D
- 2016-17: 1W-3L-0D
- 2018: 6W-4L-2D
- 2019: 2W-0L-0D