[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] The Concacaf Champions League still has a ways to go before it will be taken seriously. Exhibit A: Runaway Mexican leader Tigres traveled to Seattle for the second leg of their quarterfinal series against the Sounders Tuesday with a team of reserves and youth team players.
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:
Quarterfinals, Second Leg
Monterrey vs. Xelaju, 8 pm ET, Galavision
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Tigres, 10 pm ET, Fox Soccer, Galavision
Santos Laguna vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 pm ET, Fox Soccer, Univision Deportes
LA Galaxy vs. Herediano, 10 pm ET, Fox Soccer, Univision Deportes
Only three players from Tigres' 1-0 win in Monterrey, including goal scorer Alan Pulido, were on the plane to Seattle. The 16 players Coach Tuca Ferretti brought have started a combined total of four games in the Torneo Clausura for Tigres, which remained unbeaten Saturday night with a 2-1 win at San Luis before a record traveling contingent of 23,000 fans.
Seven of the 13 first-team players -- including American Jonathan Bornstein -- have not played in the Torneo Clausura. The roster was filled out with three players from Tigres' Fuerzas Basicas sub-20 team, including Mexican U-20 Jorge Espericueta.
Tigres also sent out a "B" team for the two road games at Nicaragua's Real Esteli (1-1) and Costa Rica's Alajuelense (2-2) and a team dominated by reserves for the home game against Real Esteli (4-0). Needing to beat Alajuelense in their final group match to advance to the quarterfinals, Tigres played its first team and won easily (5-0).
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid would not comment on whether Ferretti was disrespecting the Sounders by sending a "B" team.
"I’ve got enough confusing stuff going on in my head to not worry about this stuff," he told the Seattle Times.
Schmid did point put that the Sounders went to Monterrey in 2011 with a "B" team of its own and beat reigning champion Monterrey, 1-0, at the Estadio Tecnologico.
Tigres is making its first appearance in the Concacaf Champions League after winning the 2011 Mexican Apertura title, the club's first championship in 29 years.
Before the first leg against Seattle, Ferretti said winning the Concachampions, as the regional club championship is known in Mexico, was a priority.
Except his injured players -- David Estrada,Patrick Ianni, Adam Johansson and Shalrie Joseph -- Schmid should have all his players available for the Tigres' game, which comes four days before Seattle's Cascadia Cup match against Portland.
Goalkeepers --Jorge Diaz de Leon (0), Aaron Fernandez (0).
Defenders -- Jose Rivas (3/1), Alonso Zamora (0), Hugo Rodriguez (0), Abraham Stringel (0), Martin Reyes (Fuerzas Basicas sub-20).
Midfielders -- Manuel Viniegra (1/0), Jesus Duenas (10/2), Elias Hernandez (3/0), Jonathan Bornstein (0), Jorge Espericueta (Fuerzas Basicas sub-20), Josue Aguilar (Fuerzas Basicas sub-20).
Forwards -- Alan Pulido (2/1), Alberto Acosta (2/0), Taufic Guarch (0).
In parentheses: GP/GS.