Tata Martino claims roster rules limit MLS teams from competing with Liga MX

  • Inter Miami fell to Monterrey in the Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals
  • Monterrey triumphed 5-2 on aggregate to end the Herons' first-ever run in the competition
  • Liga MX teams have dominated the rivalry between the two leagues
Tata Martino's Inter Miami fell to Liga MX outfit Monterrey
Tata Martino's Inter Miami fell to Liga MX outfit Monterrey / Jam Media/GettyImages

Inter Miami head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino believes it's time for Major League Soccer to relax some of their roster rules and regulations after his side's 3-1 defeat to Mexican giants Monterrey in the second leg of the Champions Cup quarterfinals.

It isn't the first time we've heard an MLS boss say something like this, as Liga MX have historically dominated the rivalry between the two leagues because they don't have to deal with the same roster complications that their American counterparts do.

New England Revolution boss Caleb Porter echoed the same sentiments after his team's 5-2 (9-2 on aggregate) defeat to North American giants Club America on Tuesday, who are the favorites to win the Champions Cup. While Porter's Revs aren't exactly star-studded, Martino's statements could turn heads as he has the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in his squad yet they were unable to get past Rayados.

"These three teams (America, Monterrey and Tigres) normally have the stars and they are really very strong teams," Martino said in Spanish after the game. "As long as the MLS does not release a little more of the many rules that there are to have a little more extensive squads and where absences, injuries, suspensions, are so difficult to replace, obviously there will still be an advantage [for Liga MX teams]."

The defeat to Monterrey extended Miami's winless run to five straight, but Martino believes his team were competing well -- especially with the amount of injuries in their camp -- up until the clash with Rayados. Martino's side started well and created a few half-chances at the hostile Estadio BBVA before Drake Callender's grave error saw Brandon Vazquez pounce to put Monterrey up 1-0 in the 31st minute.

But Martino still believed his team were in the game despite being two goals down on aggregate. That is, until German Berterame found the back of the net with a long-range strike that essentially closed the door on Miami's Champions Cup aspirations.

"We have lost some points at home, but I think we are competing well and above all we are collecting points, which was something that had exactly the opposite happened to us last year and we suffered from it in the second half. Here we have competed very well with Nashville, very well in the first game with Monterrey and I think very well today until [German] Berterame's goal. There I think the tie is over," he said.

With Miami now out of the Champions Cup, they'll look to shift their focus back to MLS action and Leagues Cup when the competition kicks-off later this summer. The Herons sit in third place in the Eastern Conference table with 12 points from eight games played despite finding victories hard to come by in recent weeks.

The south Florida side will take the field again this Saturday when they travel out west to take on Sporting Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.