Going into this week, MLS teams have only beaten Liga MX teams at any stage in CONCACAF Champions League 12 times in 74 meetings. In the span of two days, MLS increased their win total by 25 percent after going 3-0-0 this week. Arguably the most thorough of those wins was delivered by the Seattle Sounders, who scored a 1-0 win over Chivas de Guadalajara that easily could have been more lopsided.
This is not sitting well in the Mexican press.
Of course, winning one leg is not itself a particularly important achievement. To make this truly meaningful, the Sounders, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC will have to finish the job. Only two MLS teams — the Sounders in 2013 and the Montreal Impact in 2015 — have ever eliminated a Liga MX opponent in the CCL knockout stage, and all three of these teams have their work cut out for them. It should also be noted that in 2014, three MLS teams went 2-0-1 against Liga MX opponents in the first legs of their quarterfinal series, only for all three to fail to advance.
But these wins felt different. The Sounders clearly outplayed a Chivas team that used a mostly first-choice group, TFC came from behind to beat arguably the best team in Liga MX, and the Red Bulls head home with 2-0 lead over Tijuana after becoming the first MLS team to win a knockout stage game in Mexico.
It’s far too early to say there’s been any sort of paradigm shift, but MLS teams clearly have gotten Mexico’s attention.