After a 2-1 Joe Public FC victory over New England and a 2-0 Chivas USA loss at the hands of Tauro FC, both MLS sides need to regroup with better home efforts in their second legs (both September 2) if MLS is going to have solid representation in the Group Stage of the competition.
Neither the Revs nor the Goats really have good excuses for their First Leg performances, outside of traveling and hostile environments, but if MLS is really going to be a top-flight league with world-class talent, they have to be able to knock of the top clubs from other CONCACAF nations. The United States can dominate CONCACAF international play, and when most Central American countries’ domestic teams are made up of their international players, that can only speak to the weakness of MLS as a league. Either teams aren’t preparing well enough, don’t have the depth to compete in multiple competitions (the salary cap puts a huge hindrance on the abilities of clubs to have enough players), or too much domestic American talent is leaving MLS, thus watering down the talent pool.
It must be said that Chivas USA is depleted as it is, with the recent departure of Brad Guzan and Sacha Kljestan’s mind possibly on a European move. Still, Chivas is in a playoff position in MLS, and should be able to show that the parity-obsessed league still retains competitive bite when it travels outside US borders.