Okay, so it's been a while since I've written one of these things, but I feel like I should for this case.
Yesterday, CONCACAF announced that the CCL Quarterfinal matchups will be set next Wednesday, November 8th, along with the rest of the road to the two-legged final. Our opponents, for those of you just joining us, can either be one of either the Los Angeles Galaxy (winners of Group A), Santos Laguna (winners of Group B), and defending champion Monterrey (winners of Group D....no thanks to the Seattle Sounders)
While there is a debate raging as to where our leg of the quarterfinal will be played (and let's be honest, in early March when the "s" word is still on peoples' lips from coast to coast...Skydome is my pick), I think it's time we started looking at who we would rather play.
I can see the merits of either Monterrey or the Galaxy, but I say, we bring on Santos Laguna.
So you must be asking, "John, why the hell would you want to put us against a team that would be in the middle of their season, while we're in the midst of training camp?"
You just gave out the first reason right there: by getting Santos Laguna, we force them into a dilemma: do they focus on their Clausura tournament (which by then would be in full swing) or do they focus on the CCL? While some Mexican teams have proven in the past that they can indeed have their cake and eat it too, this is starting to no longer be the case. Take Monterrey, who won the CCL last season, but were eliminated from the Clausura Liguilla shortly after their win over Real Salt Lake.
Who can say if that won't happen again with either Santos Laguna or Monterrey?
A second argument is that we can achieve what the Montreal Impact failed to do in 2008-2009: beat Santos Laguna. You all remember what happened (a Darwin Quintero special sinks the Limpact in Torreon during the second leg of their tie, after getting a 2-0 win at Olympic Stadium in front of 56,000 people), and wouldn't it be sweet to have the Limpact watch as we accomplish something they could not?
And third, for all you travelers...it's an excuse to go to Mexico. Tequila, anyone?