MLS sides fail in 1st legs of Champions League

Published Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:54 AM by Shane Barrow

Not quite the start we were hoping for as the first legs of the CONCACAF Champions League are in the books.  To be fair the tournament format is completely unfair to the MLS teams who are in preseason and have yet to play a competitive match while their opponents from Mexico are already in the middle of their season and match fit. All four MLS squads failed to pick up a victory with Real Salt Lake and DC United falling on the road and the LA Galaxy and Seattle tying on home turf.

DC United 0 Queretaro 2
Not a good result for DC United as they squandered several chances to grab a vital away goal falling 2-0 in Mexico.  They'll need to shut out Queretaro in the return leg to have any chance of advancing.

Seattle 2 Club America 2
What a match this was. Easily the most entertaining of the four opening leg games.  Clint Dempsey looked in midseason form scoring twice and bossing the match, but it was not enough to grab a victory of the Mexico powers.  Tough ask going to Azteca and getting the result to advance.

Real Salt Lake 0 Tigres 2
Set pieces. Set Pieces. Set pieces.  Two second half goals. Both coming off of free kicks doomed RSL to a disappointing result.  Nick Rimando was once again spectacular in the net saving a first half penalty and making numerous smart interventions.  He was helpless on two freekicks that were poorly defended namely by Jamison Olave and scored from close range.  Two goals to overturn will be tough against the talented Tigres side.

LA Galaxy 0 Santos Laguna 0
Frustrating night for the Galaxy as they were unable to break down the visitors.  Robbie Keane and Robbie Rogers got frustrated in the second half and the match lost flow to the advantage of Santos LAguna.  It will definitely be a hard task to go to Mexico and win.  Advantage Santos Laguna for sure.

So all four MLS teams have major work to do in the second legs of the knockout round.  It looks highly doubtful that any of the four survive and advance. Truthfully, until the format of the CONCACAF Champions League is changed allowing for a more equal schedule this will continue happening every single year.