Pachuca (pictured) trains at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, USA, on March 14, 2017. (Photo: Mexsport)
FRISCO, Texas – In order for Pachuca to reach a second Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League final, it must first negotiate a tricky final-four series with FC Dallas.
The Tuzos have two wins in as many matches against U.S. opposition in the competition, but in Wednesday’s opener, they face a host that seemingly has the ingredients to push for the title itself.
“FC Dallas is a team with great individuals and is very strong as a collective,” said Pachuca head Diego Alonso. “I’ll even say that for me it is the best team in MLS.”
The 41-year-old Uruguayan made a strong point. Last year, FCD posted the best regular-season record in MLS, before falling to the eventual-champion Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference semifinals.
Pachuca will be keeping a focused eye on FC Dallas’ offense, which was on target in a 4-0 win at home over Panama’s Arabe Unido in the semifinal, first leg.
“They have important signings, like Cristian Colman, a player with a lot of power on the forward line,” Alonso noted. “Along with (Maximiliano) Urruti, they are two players who are strong, fast and dynamic.”
Colman opened his Dallas goal account in the win over Arabe, while Urruti three career SCCL goals to go along with another 25 in 98 MLS regular-season games.
Goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco is confident the Pachuca defense will be up to the task, especially since it has conceded a league-low seven goals during the current Liga MX Clausura campaign.
"We have had good performances in the [defensive] zone,” finished the 29-year-old custodian. “We show order in all the lines and we must continue in the same way.”
In 26 all-time SCCL games, Pachuca has allowed 25 goals, 20 of them on the road.