Head coach Ricardo Ferretti (pictured) has led Tigres to a 8W-2D-1L record at home in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN NICOLAS DE LOS GARZA, Mexico – Although his team has played 11 competitive matches in 2017 as compared to Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s four, Tigres head coach Ricardo Ferretti doesn’t believe much separates the sides.
They meet on Tuesday in the first leg of their 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series at the Estadio Universitario.
“They already had matches with New York (in the SCCL quarterfinals). They already played in their league. They come in off a preseason and are very capable people,” Ferretti said about Vancouver during a press conference on Monday. “I don’t think in this aspect there is much of an advantage or, better yet, I don’t see any advantage.”
Tigres is attempting to become the fifth team to reach consecutive SCCL finals. The other four – all Mexican -- are Club America (2014/15, 2015/16); Santos (2011/12, 2012/13); Monterrey (2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13); Cruz Azul (2008/09, 2009/10).
In last year’s semifinal, UANL played host Queretaro to scoreless draw in the first leg, before closing out with a 2-0 win at home thanks to a pair of late goals by Andre-Pierre Gignac.
While the experience factor could ultimately give Tigres an edge over a visiting Whitecaps FC squad that is competing in its first-ever SCCL final four, Ferretti cautioned against any overconfidence.
“I see a normal situation in which we should be very humble and respect our opponent,” he finished.