Brew some late night coffee or tea on Tuesday and Wednesday as a pair of Major League Soccer teams look for their share of history.
FC Dallas is better positioned than Vancouver Whitecaps, but both MLS sides are aiming to get through midweek CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second legs to take the next step toward the FIFA Club World Cup.
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An MLS side has never represented CONCACAF in FIFA’s club showcase (though LA Galaxy qualified in 2000 only to see the tournament canceled). Real Salt Lake and Montreal Impact are the only clubs to make a final since the CCL went to its current format in 2005.
FC Dallas is in a very good spot after Maxi Urruti and Kellyn Acosta bookended halftime with goals in a 2-1 comeback win on March 15 in Texas. Still, holding that one-goal advantage in Pachuca is no easy task, and Tuesday’s hosts (10 p.m. EDT) own four continental titles since 2002 and boasts dangerous Mexican attacker Hirving Lozano and young midfielder Erick Gutierrez in addition to USMNT center back — and Dallas native — Omar Gonzalez.
Vancouver has more work to do 24 hours later when it welcomes Tigres UANL to BC Place. The ‘Caps did not manage an away goal in San Nicolas, and need 2-0 or a three-goal win to advance to the CCL Final. Tigres has been shut out in back-to-back Liga MX matches, but Andre-Pierre Gignac represents a huge challenge for Kendall Waston and the Vancouver back line. While defenders get preoccupied with the big Frenchman, new man Eduardo Vargas is also a big threat, as are Ismail Sosa and Jurgen Damm.