Sporting Kansas City, the current Major League Soccer title holders, were knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals by a powerful Cruz Azul squad that's currently in first place of Liga MX. The aggregate score was an imposing 5-2 after SKC got a one-goal lead in the first leg at home and traveled to Mexico City just to be embarrassed by "La Maquina" in the return leg.
It's more than obvious that MLS clubs have some ground left to cover before they can overcome Liga MX teams, and the league's salary cap is not helping their case. TransferMarkt.com estimated the value of both club's starting lineups during the second leg at the Azul Stadium and the results of the comparison are quite shocking.
Cruz Azul's starting lineup in the quarterfinal encounter has been estimated to be worth $30 million while Sporting KC's starters are barely worth $6 million; a $24 million difference. At an estimated worth of $7 million, Marco Fabian is Cruz Azul's priciest signing and is worth more than SKC's entire starting lineup.
Meanwhile, the most expensive player on Kansas City's roster is $2 million Claudio Bieler. Worth about $828 thousand, Sergio Napoles is the most affordable player on the Azul team and still, Bieler is the only Kansas City man worth more than Napoles.
This goes to show what kind of talent is being exploited in Mexico, as more money gives you more quality on the field and keeps the team's dynamics alive because of the pressure to live up to one's wage. This is not only true for Cruz Azul and Sporting KC, since Toluca, and Xolos of Tijuana, are also worth more money than San Jose or Los Angeles.