More Champions Cup heartbreak for MLS
It may seem like the same old, same old, but this year's CONCACAF Champions Cup failures set some new marks for futility for MLS:
1) For the first time, no MLS team advanced in the competition.
2) Since the 2002 quarterfinals, where Kansas City advanced over Santos Laguna 3-2 on aggregate, MLS has gone 0 for 10 against Costa Rican and Mexican teams. I guess we better hope that we don't draw the Costa Rican teams next year.
3) And, going into it with 97 total goals scored by MLS teams, it seemed like a sure thing to get to 100. Guess we're stuck on 99 for another year.
Click here for a full list of MLS participation in the Champions Cup.
It's mentioned every so often that Japan is seen as our closest match in soccer, and especially MLS. The J-League started in 1993, and while it's a relatively modest league compared to Europe, it has helped develop the national team into a top team. It does seem hard to believe that Japan's first World Cup was in 1998. But while the J-League has been successful with the fans, like MLS, Japan has failed to preform well in their continental club championship.
Yesterday was a bad day for Japan, too. Their two entrants in the Asian Champions League both lost to South Korean clubs. In fact, they've only won the tournament once (1999) since the J-League started. Since it was changed to a home and away group stage format two years ago, Japanese teams are 0 for 4 in advancing. Only the top team in each group advances, but they should at least be the equal of South Korean and Chinese teams. Just an interesting comparison to MLS' situation.