Herculez Gomez believes American clubs must defeat those in Mexico on a regular basis before Major League Soccer can be thought of as a top quality competition.
MLS has made no secret of its desire to become a leading soccer league but for that to happen, there must be a regional domination in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Ahead of the CCL quarter-finals, which pits DC United against Queretaro, Seattle Sounders again Club America, Real Salt Lake against Tigres UANL and LA Galaxy against Santos Laguna, Toronto FC striker Gomez has highlighted the importance of MLS clubs overcoming their Liga MX rivals if a shift of power in North America is ever going to occur.
"It's just a natural progression. It starts here … I see no reason why this couldn't be the year."
Former USA international Gomez, who has spent plenty of time in Mexico with Puebla, Pachuca, Santos and Tijuana, added: "Mexican soccer is a different animal.
"It's silly at times. They're very quick to turn on their heroes.
"That's why I think MLS clubs can take care of business down in Mexico. They can use that to their advantage.
"You have to put them on their back foot and be proactive. Crowds are quick to turn on their team, and you can use that."