PREVIEW: CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna visit Houston Dynamo, while down in Nuevo Leon Jose Francisco Torres and Tigres host Seattle Sounders.
Houston Dynamo - Santos Laguna
Houston Dynamo look to keep their CONCACAF Champions League dream going when they take on Herculez Gomez' Santos Laguna in the quarterfinal first leg at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Orange go into Tuesday's match at BBVA Compass Stadium with some momentum, as they beat DC United in the MLS season opener on Saturday.
Dominic Kinnear looks to have his usual playmakers in Davis and Will Bruin. Cam Weaver could get the start alongside Bruin up top, while Brian Ching may provide an offensive spark in the second half.
Houston could field a defensive lineup against a possession oriented and offensively talented Santos squad. Defensive midfielder Ricardo Clark, who scored against DC last weekend, looks to provide the bite for Houston, along with another defensive minded midfielder in Adam Moffat.
Santos goes into the midweek matchup playing strong soccer, as they have won two straight games in Liga MX play, including a win against Club America a couple weeks ago. They are currently in sixth place in the standings.
The ex-MLSer Gomez is likely to feature for Santos on Tuesday, as he goes into the match on a hot streak, having scored twice in the Mexican's win over the weekend.
Mexican National Team star Oribe Peralta could also see the field in Houston, while the Dynamo's offense will have a challenge against defender Felipe Baloy.
Tigres - Seattle Sounders
Seattle Sounders will travel to Monterrey, Mexico to take on Tigres UANL of Liga MX in the first leg of the quarterfinals in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Tigres are arguably the toughest team in all of the CONCACAF leagues right now, defending their Liga MX title by sitting undefeated in first place. Fortunately for Seattle, TIgres have won just two of their five home games, drawing the remaining three.
Recent reports from Mexico make Seattle's task slightly easier with Argentinian forward Emanuel Villa out 4-5 weeks due to a calf injury, ruling him out of both legs of the quarterfinals.
Tigres' USMNT midfielder Jose Francisco Torres is a regular starter for the league-leaders and should do so again, but Jonathan Bornstein is yet to see any significant time since moving south of the border from CD Chivas.
Seattle will be looking to avenge their 6-1 shellacking at the hands of Hercules Gomez and Santos Laguna in Mexico one year ago. They will be closer to full strength than their 1-0 loss to Montreal Impact in MLS on Saturday.
Ossie Alonso and Marc Burch will be available, and newcomer Djimi Traore has traveled with the team to Mexico. New designated player Shalrie Joseph did not make the journey.
Seattle drew 0-0 with Veracruz of Mexico's second division in a friendly training match two weeks ago.
John Kretlow and Michael Hadley compiled this preview