Toronto FC vs. Chivas de Guadalajara
2018 Concacaf Champions League — Final, Leg 1
BMO Field — Toronto
8:15 pm ET — April 17, 2018
WATCH: TSN2 in Canada | UDN, univisiondeportes.com, go90.com
After knocking off defending Mexican champions Tigres UANL and then Club America, Toronto FC will attempt a clean sweep of Liga MX foes and capture a first-ever Concacaf Champions League title, which would be their fourth championship in less than 10 months, when they face Chivas de Guadalajara in the first leg of the final Tuesday at BMO Field.
If Mexico is to maintain it’s dominance of the competition, having won each of the previous nine CCL titles, Guadalajara will have to win its first. Chivas is seeking to sweep MLS foes after knocking off Seattle Sounders FC in the quarterfinals and surviving an onslaught at Red Bull Arena to beat the Red Bulls, 1-0, on aggregate in the semifinals.
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As was the case in each of the previous two rounds, Toronto FC is home for the first leg and they’ve used their edge at BMO Field to put pressure on their Mexican opponent with a victory in Toronto.
In fact, both times TFC conceded an away goal, but managed to put the series away with an away goal of their own, including Jonathan Osorio’s 12th-minute strike at Estadio Azteca that helped seal a 4-2 aggregate victory over America.
With starters needing rest and rehabilitation following the rugged series with Las Aguilas, coach Greg Vanney only utilized one regular — central defender Drew Moor — in a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids in Commerce City Saturday.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio, Drew Moor
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Nick Hagglund (hamstring); DOUBTFUL: M - Victor Vazquez (back spasms); QUESTIONABLE: D - Justin Morrow (calf strain); PROBABLE: D - Chris Mavinga (abdominal discomfort), D - Gregory van der Wiel (Achilles), F - Jozy Altidore (foot)
Projected Starting XI
(3-5-2, right to left)
GK: Alex Bono — Gregory van der Wiel, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta — Auro, Jonathan Osorio, Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, Ashtone Morgan — Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore
Chivas de Guadalajara
The Red Bulls applied almost unprecedented pressure, especially in the first half, outshooting the visitors, 20-1, for the game in the second leg. But Chivas survived the threat and were the ones celebrating in front of thousands of their fans at Red Bull Arena following the 0-0 draw that saw Chivas advance 1-0 on aggregate.
Chivas, which hasn’t conceded a goal in their last 282 minutes of CCL play, will play for their seventh title under Matias Almeyda as head coach.
“I am very proud of the players I trained and I’m very proud of the unity the team has,” Almeyda said after the second leg against the Red Bulls. “I was very proud the players today showed their pride, especially knowing they are carrying the Mexican flag in honor today. Obviously it’s two finals in seven months, but today we showed the hard work does pay off.”
As Toronto did on Saturday, Almeyda only used one regular starter — suspended left back Edwin Hernandez — in Chivas’ 3-0 loss to Club Tijuana in the 15th round of the Mexican Clausura Friday night at Estadio Caliente.
- Suspended: Jair Pereira, Rodolfo Cota, Edwin Hernandez
- Suspended after next caution: Jesus Godinez, Carlos Cisneros, Orbelin Pineda, Rodolfo Pizarro
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Jesus Sanchez (right knee); M - Alan Cervantes (left knee), D - Hedgardo Marin (right thigh)
Projected Starting XI
(4-4-1-1, right to left)
GK: Miguel Jimenez — Carlos Cisneros, Carlos Salcido, Oswaldo Alanis, Alejandro Mayorga — Eduardo Lopez, Michael Perez, Orbelin Pineda, Rodolfo Pizarro — Alan Pulido — Jose de Jesus Godinez
- This is the first all-time meeting between Toronto FC and Chivas de Guadalajara
- CONCACAF Champions League history: Toronto - 4 appearances (2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13) 14 wins, 9 losses, 9 ties (45 goals) … Chivas - Guadalajara - 1 appearance (2012/13) 6 wins, 2 losses, 2 ties (17 goals) …
To be announced