Earlier in the spring, we started in the Round of 16 with five MLS teams and now we are down to two.
The New York Red Bulls and current MLS Champions Toronto FC have both made their way into the Semifinals of this competition.
The CONCACAF Champions League has long been a struggle for MLS teams, and to have two still in at this stage is not short of a great feat.
Former USSF President Sunil Gulati recognized this great achievement on his twitter account:
A huge night for @MLS teams in the @TheChampions. Congrats to @torontofc and @NewYorkRedBulls. The MLS champs beat the Liga MX champs, and Red Bulls go through on aggregate 5-1. Well done.
— Sunil Gulati (@sunilgulati) March 14, 2018
It is no doubt that this is a stepping stone for the MLS to become a contender in international competitions.
Now let’s take a look at how these teams got here, starting with the Red Bulls.
After defeating Club Deportivo Olimpia, they were pitted against Club Tijuana.
This would prove to be a huge test for the Red Bulls that were able to play in Mexico and come back after a huge upset with a 2-0 lead on the road going back to Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls top goal scorer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, was able to notch both goals past the Tijuana keeper.
Tijuana put on the pressure in the return leg, forcing Robles into saves as he had to do in the 1st leg.
This performance earned him much praise, beginning with his team’s Twitter account.
At Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls would finish the job and win 3-1 to get to 5-1 on aggregate.
Toronto FC had a very interesting journey to their Semifinal spot.
They started by hosting Tigres UANL at BMO Field.
It was an extremely tight game. After the 60th minute, it was 1-1.
In the 89th minute, Jonathan Osorio gave Toronto a crucial goal and win against Tigres.
Tigres did not give up without a fight, taking Toronto FC to a 3-2 loss in the second leg, thus making the overall aggregate score 4-4.
Luckily for Toronto, the CONCACAF Champions League follows the away goals rule.
Toronto FC will now face Club America from Mexico at BMO Field on April 3rd at 8 p.m.
The next day, New York Red Bulls will be traveling to Mexico to face Chivas on April 4th at 10 p.m.
Both teams will be facing their toughest test of the competition and will have all eyes of the MLS on them throughout both of their legs.