Altidore: MLS quality still below Liga MX

Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore has suggested Major League Soccer is still behind the Mexican top flight "from top to bottom," but that MLS may have the brighter future.

Altidore's side takes on Liga MX Apertura champions Tigres UANL in the inaugural Campeones Cup at Toronto's BMO Field on Wednesday, looking to beat a Mexican team for the third time in 2018. The Reds have already triumphed over Club America, Guadalajara, and Wednesday's opponents in 90 minutes this season, all in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Related - Campeones Cup preview: Tigres pay Toronto FC another visit

When asked how he feels MLS currently stands up to Liga MX, which is traditionally seen as a stronger league, the United States international admitted that the quality is still better south of the border - although he stresses that is affected in no small part by MLS' salary cap.

"I think the Mexican league probably still is better in terms of the quality they're able to attract from top to bottom," Altidore said, as reported by ESPN's Jeff Carlisle.

"The inferior teams, so to speak, in Mexico are able to spend a little more and spread it out and get some more quality players. Our league is doing a good job of trying to counter that. We have a salary cap, so it's different. But I think looking at both leagues, with us having a salary cap, we have to be happy with where we are and where we're trying to go.

"I think the possibilities are great for MLS, and I think if anybody's future is brighter, so to speak, you can't knock what's going on in MLS right now."

TFC go into Wednesday's showpiece in mixed form, having won three of their last seven games in all competitions. Successive clashes with clubs from Los Angeles have been a microcosm of that inconsistency, as Altidore's side followed a 4-2 home defeat to LAFC with a 5-3 win over LA Galaxy.

Standing nine points adrift of the final playoff berth with six games remaining - further from the coveted sixth place in the Eastern Conference than it is from the bottom spot - qualifying for the postseason is mission improbable at this point for Toronto. Tigres may have their own focus drawn away by this weekend's fierce league derby with city rivals Monterrey, but for TFC, Wednesday's occasion is undoubtedly a big distraction from the primary goal - only a trophy will make it a welcome one.

Altidore: MLS quality still below Liga MX
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