Tigres UANL, according to a story on its team website, traveled with just 16 players and left several starters home for Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League game against Sounders FC.
The second leg of a two-game quarterfinal is set for a 7 p.m. start at CenturyLink Field with the top team in Mexico holding a 1-0 series advantage.
Coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti either figured a reserve-heavy squad could get the job done and preserve the lead or he doesn’t care terribly much about advancing in the tournament. Perhaps there’s another explanation, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say after the game.
But back to the squad, and remember teams can dress up to 18 for a game.
Only two starters from Wednesday’s first leg — midfielders Elias Hernandez and Alberto Acosta — made the trip to Seattle. A few other key reserves came, including forward Alan Pulido, who has the only goal in the series. Another familiar name is former U.S. international defender Jonathan Bornstein, who is yet to feature in league play.
Three guys who traveled are U-20 players.
Tigres mainstays like Lucas Lobos, Carlos Salcido, Luis Garcia and U.S. international Jose Torres weren’t listed on the travel squad. Neither were starting goalkeeper Enrique Palos or any of the four starting defenders from the past two games.
Most of the starters from Wednesday’s first leg also featured in Saturday’s league game at San Luis, a 2-1 road win that kept Tigres atop the Liga MX table. Lineups for those games here.
So did that league game take priority? Did Ferretti feel confident a ‘B’ team could get the desired result Tuesday?
Again, we’ll see what he has to say.