SAN MIGUEL, El Salvador – If you want to know what playing in a CONCACAF club competition means to a footballer, listen to Deris Umanzor.
The defender and his Aguila teammates will host Real Esteli in the first leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL), Round of 16 series on Wednesday night.
“It’s a privilege to play in this tournament,” Umanzor told CONCACAF.com about playing in the inaugural SCL. “We are going to be playing against the best teams from these countries, and, well, we are very excited. Hopefully, we can win and move on to the next round and do a good job, making it as far as possible.
Aguila hasn’t lifted a CONCACAF trophy since overcoming Suriname’s Robinhood in the 1976 Champions Cup final, 8-3 on aggregate.
What will it take for the Salvadoran power to experience that sensation once again?
“We know it won’t be easy,” stressed Umanzor. “However, we will try very hard and do our job, like we have done in past tournaments. Also, we have to be an organized team because we will be playing against top level teams.”
In order to make that happen, Umanzor wants the fans to have a part in the process. He hopes to have their support at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, which is about 85 miles away from the club’s home base in San Miguel.
“I think in this instance the fans should support because we will be playing against top teams and the Aguila fans play a very important role in our matches.”
Aguila’s last foray into CONCACAF play came in 2012, when it didn’t advance past the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League group stage.