No MLS team has gone deeper in the Concacaf Champions League and suffered a worse defeat than Sporting Kansas City, a 5-0 loser at Monterrey in the first leg of their semifinal series on Thursday
And the thing about it is, the defeat could have been worse. Los Rayados ran the
sole surviving MLS team off the field, underscoring the huge gulf between the top Liga MX teams and top MLS teams.
It makes last year's performances by Toronto FC and the New York Red
Bulls all the more amazing. They reached the final and semifinals, respectively, and played champion Guadalajara even.
That was not the case with Sporting KC against Monterrey. It fell
behind 2-0 after 14 minutes, and things deteriorated after the break when Monterrey added three more goals.
The 5-0 loss matched the worst defeat by an MLS team in the Concacaf Champions
League knockout stage: The Seattle Sounders fell to Santos, 6-1, in the 2012 quarterfinals. Worst MLS defeats: CCL knockout
stage 5 goals:
Santos 6 Seattle Sounders 1 (2012
Monterrey 5 Sporting KC 0 (2019 semifinals) 4 goals:
Santos 6 Toronto FC 2 (2012 semifinals)
Cruz Azul 5 Sporting KC 1 (2014 quarterfinals)
Santos 4 LA Galaxy 0 (2016 quarterfinals)
CAI 4 Toronto FC 0 (2019 round of
Sporting KC went into the series as the underdog, but its experience was expected to keep things respectable at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer. Indeed, the 2018 Western Conference
runner-up team was kept together with the idea that it would be competitive in the Concacaf Champions League.
Sporting KC, which was coming off a 7-1 win over Montreal in MLS play, was
not only sloppy with the ball but it lost it in bad positions on the field.
"The difference in this game was that we were not good with the ball," said Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes.
"We gave it up in critical areas, and the difference is they took advantage of each of the opportunities where we coughed the ball up in bad places, or were not good with the ball, and then they went
and they scored."
He praised Monterrey's tenacity.
"They were relentless at it," added Vermes. "They had an incredible desire and intensity to do that. If you had to ask me
for one reason, it's that in itself. Positionally, we were poor, we left ourselves exposed and then when you don't keep the ball in those moments, and you're not going to because you're not positioned
well, a team like that will crush you, and they did."
Thursday's loss means it will be 11 years and counting that an MLS team has not won the Concacaf Champions League and shows why that
won't likely change any time soon. April 4 in Guadalupe
Monterrey 5 Sporting KC 0.
Goals: Pabon 7,
76, Hurtado 14, Gallardo 55, Sanchez pen. 70. Monterrey --
Barovero; Medina, Montes (Layun 73), Sanchez, Gallardo (Vangioni 83); Pabon (Meza 79), Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Hurtado; Pizarro;
Funes Mori. Sporting KC --
Melia; Zusi, Fontas, Besler, Sinovic; Espinoza, Ilie, Felipe (Busio 73); Russell (Croizet 64), Nemeth (Rowe 80), Fernandes.