In 2009, a solid Chicago squad had a great run to the SuperLiga final, where they met Mexican First Division side Tigres UANL and lost in a thrilling PK shootout.
This time around, even though the Fire enter the contest with a few issues to resolve, they want to repeat their powerful performance of last year.
Manager Carlos de los Cobos knows perfectly well how far his team can go and, even though he acknowledges the ups and downs that the Fire have suffered in their league campaign, the Mexican strategist hopes that his charges can do a good job of representing Chicago in the tournament.
“I think that, despite being hindered by injuries that have depleted our team, we have been very competitive,” said the head coach. “Therefore, that’s what we must show. Always play organized, play with a clear idea, with purpose, and try for the win like we always do.”
De los Cobos is lifted by the idea that the Fire, under his direction, can put forth a good effort on an international stage that, in turn, would both motivate the players and open important doors for the club.
“I’m excited and very motivated. Independently of the recent results that haven’t been all that positive, the team has played well. As a head coach, that gives me confidence and serenity, which I must transmit to my players,” said De los Cobos.
“The results won’t always come, which is what’s happening to us right now,” he added. “But I think we have the opportunity here to put forth a good performance in an international tournament, which could help us transcend frontiers. We’re well-prepared and we’re going to try to make this a good tournament for us.”
Nonetheless, the head coach knows how competitive the Fire’s group will be. He tagged New England as a motivated side, and Pumas and Morelia as two of the most consistent clubs in Mexico.
“I know a lot about the three teams. Morelia and Pumas are two of the most consistent squads in Mexico. They’re teams that have a good mix of youth and experience,” De los Cobos said. “New England come to win and are motivated.”
“I consider SuperLiga as an opportunity and a responsibility,” he added, “because we’re representing Chicago. Logically, knowing the quality of these teams, especially that of the Mexican clubs, we know that we will be tested and shown the level at which we’re at.”