Pumas excited to open season

Pumas' Jose Antonio Garcia (left) and Abraham Gonzalez gives a thumbs up after a press conference on July 13, 2016, in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)

MEXICO CITY – To assert that Pumas is looking forward to the quickly approaching 2016 Liga MX season would be a complete understatement.

In fact, the UNAM players are chomping at the bit to kick off the campaign on Sunday against visiting Guadalajara. A trip to Trinidad & Tobago for an August 3 meeting with DirecTV W Connection will launch the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League schedule.

“Playing against Chivas is like a derby. It is a very important match,” said Spanish midfielder Abraham Gonzalez, who joined the club during the summer from La Liga’s Espanyol. “I’m eager for it to arrive. Hopefully as many fans as possible come and that they fill the stadium. We will leave everything on the field and I think they will leave everything in the stands.”

Pumas was runner-up to Tigres in the 2015 Apertura, falling on penalty kicks after their final ended 4-4 aggregate. It didn’t earn a place in the Clausura playoffs following a 10th place finish in the regular season standings.

Defender Antonio Garcia is targeting a win against Chivas, knowing that such a result could set a positive tone going forward.

“It is a very important match for us in that we have to give everything,” the 24-year-old commented. “These are matches no one wants to lose. If we start well, it is going to do well for our mindset. Two or three very big matches come up after this one, winning would help us a lot in facing those other matches well.”

Defender Gerardo Alcoba echoed his teammates’ sentiments, saying that the adrenalin will be fully flowing when they step on the Estadio Olimpico Universitario pitch come Sunday.

“For Pumas, it’s lucky that we first start against Chivas,” he finished. “We like these type of matches because unconsciously we raise our level and give a good fight. Believe me, we are very much anxiously awaiting the match.”