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MLS Takes Two Steps Forward, One Step Back After Thursday's Concacaf Champions League Matches

LAFC made MLS history Thursday night while the Seattle Sounders avoided it. The Sounders left a sour taste in the mouth of MLS fans on what was a monumental night in the Concacaf Champions League.

Let’s start with the good news. Carlos Vela and company became the first MLS team to defeat a Liga MX side after losing the first leg by multiple goals.

After losing the first leg in León 2-0, Vela conducted the comeback train in Los Angeles with goals in the 27th and 77th minute. Then two minutes after his second, Diego Rossi capped off the night and put LAFC in front with what was definitely a planned shot.

Rossi made up for an Aubameyang-esque missed sitter he had earlier in the game.

The Banc of California Stadium celebrated all night as its team had done what no team had before and was through to the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals.

Along with LAFC’s victory, Atlanta United, NYCFC and the Montreal Impact all advanced to the quarterfinals. Since the tournament’s reformat after 2017, MLS has never had every team advance to the quarterfinals. This looked like the shining moment for the league. The moment where the league could be the alpha in the region. What could possibly go wrong?

Cue Seattle Sounders.

The reigning MLS champs left fecal matter in the bed Thursday night after losing at home to Honduran side Olimpia in a penalty kick shoot-out. 

Prior to Seattle’s loss, MLS had won 81 percent of ties against non-Liga MX sides and had a perfect record against Honduran clubs. 

The remaining MLS teams in the tournament will simply have to dismiss the failures from the Northwest and focus on the quarterfinals. The next round of play features three ties consisting of U.S. versus Mexico clubs.

The MLS has four representatives in the quarterfinals. Three of them will face Liga MX opposition.

LAFC may have won Round 1 of MLS versus Liga MX, but history shows Mexican superiority. The Concacaf Champions League resumes on March 10.

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