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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MLS falters again in the Concacaf Champions League with Galaxy's loss to Tijuana

Photo credit: Concacaf
It's not old news that an American team gets eliminated in the knockout round of the Concacaf Champions League. Tonight it was the LA Galaxy's turn at the hand of heavily-talented Xolos of Tijuana. The team was doomed from the start.

The reason the team lost wasn't as much by the defense but for the lack of result at home at the StubHub Center. A win by at least two goals would have been enough for the LA squad. And this is a point that Sporting KC will also have to contend when they face Cruz Azul on their return match.

It is sad to realize that the league still has ways to go to catch up with other leagues on the international level. Let's remember that Xolos elected not to play with their "full" squad and that their replacements are that much more talented in a very deep pool of players. Hopefully the Galaxy can begin to remedy this with Galaxy II in coming years.

Clearly, the influx of talent into the league from the international sphere with players like Defoe, Henry, Dempsey and Bradley is quite impressive, but this is only skin deep. If the league trully wants to compete then it will have to flex more of a financial muscle and not just on two to three players per team. And yes, that could be a problem too, given the fate of NASL and the impending dilution of talent due to the almost perennial expansion of MLS. But we know that it is an imperative for Garber and many American soccer fans to excell in their continental tournament if the league is to become trully exceptional in our lifetime. 

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