Following Saturday's season opener in Seattle, Sounders FC travels to Monterrey, Mexico, to take on Tigres UANL in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series tomorrow night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT from Estadio Universitario.
The quarterfinal series will conclude next Tuesday, March 12, on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff for the return leg is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT and will be televised live on FOX Soccer. Single-match tickets are available through www.SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000.
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The series will be Seattle's second trip to the quarterfinals after falling to Santos Laguna last March. Sounders FC is one of three teams representing MLS, along with the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo.
The winner of the Seattle-Tigres series will face the Santos-Houston victor. The Semifinal Round begins in April with the Final concluding on May 1. The winner of the tournament will advance to the FIFA Club World Cup, to be held next December in Morocco.
Sounders FC will look to advance past the Quarterfinal Round for the first time in club history while Tigres, Mexico's top team this season, are participating in their first Champions League tournament.
The Rave Green began its fifth MLS campaign last Saturday in front of a record opening day crowd, yet the short-handed Seattle side fell to the Montreal Impact, 1-0, marking just the second opening day loss for the club.
With a Week 2 bye, Seattle will return to league action on March 16 when the Portland Timbers visit CenturyLink Field for the first match of the 2013 Cascadia Cup. It will be the first of two visits to the Emerald City for the Timbers, who are the current Cascadia Cup-holders.
Sounders FC has five matches remaining on a congested March schedule, which will wrap-up with back-to-back road games at Real Salt Lake and San Jose at the end of the month.
Below, more on Tigres:
Club: Tigres UANL (MEX)Founded: 1960City: San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo LeonStadium: Estadio UniversitarioManager: Ricardo FerrettiQualification method: 2011 Mexican Apertura championPrevious CONCACAF Champions League appearances: NoneHonors: Mexican Primera Division champions - 3 (1977-78, 1981-82, 2011 A); Copa Mexico - 2 (1975-76, 1995-95); Interliga - 2 (2005, 2006)Official website: http://www.tigres.com.mx
The 2011 Mexican Apertura champion is making its first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League after beating Santos Laguna to win the Mexican Apertura title, the club's first championship in 29 years and third in its history. Tigres is led by Argentine captain Lucas Lobos, Mexican international Carlos Salcido as well as Brazilians Juninho and Edno. Forward Taufic Guarch, who was a standout for Mexico at the U-20 World Cup in Colombia last summer, arrives on loan from Estudiantes Tecos, joining Alonso Zamora from Atlas, Henry David Lopez from Brazil's EC Noroeste and Dieter Vargas from San Luis. The club is coached by Brazilian Ricardo Ferretti, who is in his third stint with Tigres, having previously coached the club from 2000-03 and again in the 2006 season when he led it to the InterLiga title and qualifying the club for the Copa Libertadores. However he was let go when Tigres failed to qualify for the Clausura playoffs. He made his triumphant return, though, in 2010, guiding Tigres to the Apertura title. Tigres plays at 42,000-seat Estadio Universitario, nicknamed El Volcan (The Volcano), a venue that has hosted several matches of the 1986 World Cup as well as the 2011 U-17 World Cup.