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Club América coach: “Our league doesn’t compete with the MLS”

Miguel Herrera has a low opinion of his competition tonight.

America v Toluca - Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

In a press conference ahead of his side’s Concacaf Champions League semi-final with Toronto FC, Club América boss Miguel Herrera had some scathing words for the quality of Major League Soccer.

“Our league doesn’t compete with the MLS,” he told reporters. “Our league competes with European leagues and MLS is trying to catch up to us.”

He also added that he watched the Concacaf ties between TFC and Tigres, as well as the New York Red Bulls and Tijuana, and that he thought the Mexican teams played better.

TFC and the Red Bulls (and even the Seattle Sounders, to an extent) shocked the Mexican football press by putting pressure on their Liga MX opposition in the quarterfinals. All three MLS sides won the first leg of their knockout ties, prompting this well-circulated cover of Mexican tabloid Récord:

Chivas Guadalajara managed to pull it back at home against Seattle, but both Toronto and New York advanced to the semis, leaving Liga MX’s defending champions, Tigres, on the outside looking in.

I’ve already discussed in great detail what that win meant for TFC and for MLS as a whole, so no need to do so again here. Herrera’s comments, though, show that two MLS sides knocking out Mexican competition is still not enough for the league to earn legitimacy in Mexico.

I do have to say, Tigres coach Ricardo Ferretti was far more gracious in defeat, flashing a very genuine smile at Greg Vanney after the final whistle in Monterrey. It seems, though, that Herrera thinks very little of TFC’s performance in El Volcán.

If Herrera's side aren't taking Toronto's threat very seriously, that can only bode well for the Reds, of course. Las Águilas will be heading into some very frigid, rainy conditions at BMO Field on Tuesday, and if they're not up for a fight, things could certainly slip away from them.

Perhaps TFC will just have to beat América as well to earn some respect.