TORONTO – Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final meeting between Toronto FC and Mexican club Tigres is a full-blown clash of champions.
One day after TFC completed its historic treble-winning season in a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup final in December, Tigres officially clinched its sixth Mexican league title by claiming the Apertura crown.
Based in Monterrey, Tigres is one of the top teams in Mexico’s Liga MX, having reached the finals of the past two Champions League tournaments. They also have a litany of international stars and a larger payroll than TFC, which has the most expensive roster in MLS.
While the Reds have been the most dominant side in MLS the past two years, they haven’t tested themselves against the best teams in the CONCACAF region. Wednesday’s showdown against Tigres, and next week’s return match in this Round of 16 series, figures to be the toughest test TFC has ever faced.
“This is the best team in Mexico for the last few years consistently,” Toronto midfielder Jonathan Osorio offered. “To win this tournament you have to beat the best teams, so it doesn’t matter that we’re playing them now. This group is very willing and excited, and we’re ready to go.”
It’s not often that Toronto enters a game as the underdog, but that’s the situation it faces against the Mexican champions. Still, TFC coach Greg Vanney believes his side can beat Tigres in this two-legged, aggregate series.
“I think our team is capable of getting a result anywhere on its day, and it comes down to executing,” Vanney stated. “We tend to be pretty good at creating chances. We’ve been stingy in the past defensively, and so we have to continue to do that.”
History, though, is working against the MLS champs.
Mexican clubs have won …read more
Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sport