In nine days, an unprecedented feat could appear in the record books for Toronto FC, however, the MLS side needs to start strong in its first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.
TFC will host Chivas de Guadalajara on Tuesday night (8:15 p.m. ET) at BMO Field in Toronto, which provides the Canadian side the opportunity to build momentum before the two clubs meet in Mexico the following week.
For MLS sides, it’s long been a struggle when it comes to facing teams from Liga MX, particularly for clubs that have to travel to Mexico.
Manager Greg Vanney and his side will aim to construct a similar formula to their efforts against Club America in the CCL semifinals. TFC went up 3-1 in the first leg at BMO, before settling for a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca in the return leg.
TFC’s starting roster has been fully rested after sitting out for the weekend’s 2-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids in MLS play, and that extended layoff for the regulars should benefit the squad as it prepares for Chivas.
Jozy Altidore is expected to play on Tuesday, despite suffering a foot injury early in the second leg against America, while Justin Morrow, Chris Mavinga and Gregory van der Wiel could all play massive roles on the back line for TFC.
Meanwhile, Chivas’ road to the CCL final has been an intriguing one.
The Mexican side took out Dominican club Cibao in the quarterfinals with ease, before needing a comeback performance against the injury-depleted Seattle Sounders in the following round.
The semifinals saw a hard-fought and largely defensive setup from Chivas, who edged the New York Red Bulls to reach the title match. With the Liga MX club facing the likes of Sebastian Giovinco and Altidore twice in eight days, it’s not unlikely that Chivas will align itself in a similar fashion against Toronto.Follow @MattReedFutbol