Monterrey's Jose Basanta (middle) celebrates after scoring against visiting Necaxa in a Liga MX Apertura match on August 13, 2016. (Photo: Mexsport)
MONTERREY, Mexico – Monterrey has followed a three-match winless streak to open the season with three straight victories in all competitions, a trend bodes that bodes well heading into Wednesday’s 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) encounter against visiting Arabe Unido.
The current run commenced with a 3-0 SCCL triumph at Haiti’s Don Bosco on August 3 and the train stayed on the right track by acquiring three-domestic points against both Leon (3-0, away) and Necaxa (2-1, home).
A pair of returning Mexican Olympians -- defender Cesar Montes and midfielder Alfonso Gonzalez – are expected to provide another boost to a side that gives all the signs of rounding into form.
“We are on the rise,” said defender Jose Basanta. “I feel that each time we are better. Now teammates who were at the Olympics are back in, so the squad is complete. There is an internal competition that is going to strengthen the squad and the team’s level is going to continue progressing.”
Basanta believes that the Rayados’ uneven start can be attributed to many factors, including player commitments for international tournaments during the offseason. But now, they are fully equipped to compete on two fronts.
“In the preseason, we all arrived at different times,” the 32-year-old noted. “There were the Olympic Games, injuries. Today we are much better. The Olympic players are arriving. That is going to make the team complete and that is going to favor the level at which we hope to find ourselves closer yet.”
Three-time champion Monterrey will be playing at home in the SCCL for the first time since May 1, 2013 -- a 4-2 win over Santos in the second leg of the 2012/13 final – when it called the Estadio Tecnologico home before moving to the new Estadio BBVA Bancomer.