The Major League Soccer contingent suffered a pair of losses in two high-profile Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal matchups against Liga MX competition on Wednesday night, pushing the league closer to another disappointing tournament showing.
Atlanta United suffered a 3-0 loss to Club America at Estadio Azteca, overwhelmed by a first-half onslaught that saw the home team post a pair of early goals to deflate the visitors.
Atlanta United eventually settled down, and changed tactics in the second half to stem the tide, but by then the damage was already done. Pity Martinez came close to provide a precious road goal by hitting the woodwork on two occasions, but the Five Stripes failed in their attempt to bring at least one goal back to Atlanta.
New York City FC played a smart and safe game for 91 minutes on Wednesday, but suffered a late defensive lapse to make its job much tougher heading to Mexico. Eduardo Vargas scored in the 92nd minute to give Tigres a 1-0 first-;leg victory at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made three saves on the day, while his counterpart from Tigres was forced to make six saves despite Tigres holding a 2-1 edge in possession.
NYCFC’s attack continued to struggle, failing to find the net for the third time in four matches.
Atlanta United and NYCFC joined the Montreal Impact as MLS teams to lose their quarterfinal first leg matches. All three are considerable underdogs to advance now, leaving Los Angeles FC as the last best hope for MLS to send a team to the CCL semifinals.
LAFC faces Liga MX leaders Cruz Azul on Thursday at Banc of California Stadium.
Both Atlanta United-Club America and NYCFC-Tigres series are set to conclude next week, but with the current Coronavirus pandemic, it remains unclear whether the CCL schedule will remain intact, or be changed.