The US men's national team's victory at the Concacaf Gold Cup capped off a hugely successful summer of regional competition, and in particularly impressive fashion. The USMNT came into this edition of the Gold Cup with a squad made up almost entirely of MLS players, making the US' triumph a noteworthy one for the league.
Former USMNT forward Herculez Gomez made that argument on Monday edition of ESPN's "Futbol Americas," saying this week's result adds another layer to the conversation comparing MLS and Liga MX.
"it makes the sting for Mexico sting a little bit more because they love to downplay what is Major League Soccer. They love to kind of look at it as, 'you'll never be as good as we [are]. We reign supreme,'" Gomez said. "By the way 20 of those players played in Major League Soccer — not necessarily the best collection of Major League Soccer players today. If you look at it, there are players that could've easily been on here who are in better moments — Ricardo Pepi, Caden Clark, Cade Cowell. Those guys didn't make the list. ... It's definitely a feather on the cap for Major League Soccer."
The US' Gold Cup victory is the second big win over Mexico this summer, coming two months after the US beat its regional rival to win the first Nations League trophy. The Nations League squad and the Gold Cup squad were comprised of two almost entirely different groups, with the former made up mainly of players based in Europe. Gomez argues this pool may be the deepest in recent history.
"2002 is kind of the barometer, the bar that was set for all these generations," he said about the US team that went to the World Cup quarterfinals that year. "The 2010 group, they ended up winning their group for the first time in World Cup history. The 2014 team got out of the group of death, but none of them had the depth these players had, this pool had. You didn't have players playing at Barcelona, playing at Chelsea, playing at Leipzig, Dortmund. You didn't have that kind of quality, but those are teams and that's the difference."
You can watch Futbol Americas every Monday and Thursday at 6 pm ET on ESPN+.