PUERTO CORTES, Honduras – Alianza and host Platense enter the first leg of their Round of 16 series in the 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League with a similar dilemma
How do they make best use of the new players added to their squads during the offseason?
Jorge Rodriguez, the Alianza head coach, boiled it down to a simple – but long-held – football belief: “They, like us, have incorporated many players, with the only difference that (Platense head coach Jose Reynaldo) Clavasquin could see us play last Sunday. But, in football, they are normal things. In the end, it’s the players who will determine who has been better and who has won.”
Yes, matches are ultimately won and lost on the field, but sometimes other factors play a role in outcomes.
Alianza has the advantage of playing one league game thus far – a 1-0 win over visiting Dragon. Platense doesn’t open its league season until August 5 against Real España, but the opportunity to scout the Salvadoran power in a competitive environment could prove valuable.
Rodriguez has no plans of changing his instilled strategy solely to counteract Platense’s scouting advantage.
"We have our way of playing and we will respect it, treating the ball well and trying to attack,” stressed the 46-year-old. “But you have to see what Platense allows us to develop in order to have options and get a victory.
“We know that in football there is nothing written. The games have to be played and you always play them to win them.”
Alianza’s new signings include forward Sergio Guevara (24) and goalkeeper Victor Garcia (27).