USA

FOX Soccer Exclusive

Santos Laguna remains unfazed by task

Hurculez Gomez of Santos Laguna celebrates
Herculez Gomez's Santos Laguna faces a two-goal deficit at Torreon.
Share This Story

Ives Galarcep

Ives Galarcep is a 14-year veteran of the American soccer beat. He created and operates the popular American soccer blog, Soccer By Ives, which was voted Best American Soccer Blog by US Soccer in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Ives was also voted Best Football Writer by SoccerLens in 2010. 
 

MORE>>
 
   
 

PREVIOUSLY GALARCEP

 

Sebastien Le Toux Philadelphia Union

MLS, US mourns loss of Columbus Crew midfielder Urso.

Josh Gatt

Chandler's USMNT snub sends loud, clear message.

David Beckham

Now is the time for Clint Dempsey to leave Fulham.

When Humberto Suazo danced through the Santos Laguna defense and scored a vital second goal late in last week’s CONCACAF Champions League Final first leg, the highlight-reel finish turned Santos Laguna’s task in the return leg from manageable to extremely difficult.

Santos must find a way to erase a 2-0 deficit against a tough Monterrey side Wednesday night. As tough a task as it may first appear, Santos heads into Wednesday’s second leg confident that their outstanding home form and home crowd will carry them through.

Any concerns about the Santos Laguna’s confidence were eased by the team’s convincing 3-0 victory against Tigres over the weekend. The win helped Santos move back into first place in the Mexican League.

“We responded well and I feel like we have our swagger back heading into the second leg,” Santos Laguna striker Herculez Gomez told FOX Soccer.

“It was a tough loss in the first leg, but there’s no point in dwelling on what we should have or could have done. Give them credit, they played a good tactical game and made us pay for our mistakes.”

FoxSoccer.tv

FOX Soccer Plus provides the complete international sports experience, providing access to England, Scotland, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League soccer.

Click here for more information on FOX Soccer Plus.

Upcoming matches include ...

  • December 26: Norwich vs. Chelsea
  • December 26: Dundee vs. Celtic
  • December 29: Hibernian vs. Celtic

Monterrey will head into the second leg without Suazo, who is serving a suspension for yellow-card accumulation. The Chilean striker scored both Monterrey goals, but a potentially bigger absence for Monterrey is starting defender Hiram Mier, who left the team’s weekend’s 1-1 draw versus Pachuca with an injury.

Santos has the tough task of having to win by three goals to secure the club’s first CONCACAF championship. That may seem like a difficult challenge, but the team has recorded blowout victories in the past two home legs of the Champions League. The difference this time around, however, is that Santos must do it against the defending CONCACAF Champions League title holders rather than teams like the Seattle Sounders or Toronto FC.

As good a team as Monterrey is, they have been vulnerable on the road this year, posting a 1-3-3 road record in Mexican League. Santos has been dominant at home this season, boasting an 8-0-3 record in all competitions, having outscored their opponents 30-9.

Santos has clearly been a different team in Torreon than on the road, and will be banking on the support of a home crowd eager to see their team finally win a major trophy after coming close many times before.

AMERICANS ABROAD

Want to find out the top American performances overseas? Check them out here.

“It’s more than a final to these people,” Gomez said. “It’s Monterrey, and the pressure is built up a bit after losing in finals before. The fans really are trying to show us that they are behind us for this final. Come game time I expect it to be a special night.”

For Gomez, the final will mark another major event in a career that has plenty of them. From the 2010 World Cup, to a Club World Cup, to an MLS Cup and a Copa America, Gomez has played in big matches before, and he believes this Santos team is capable of handling the pressure of Wednesday’s second leg.

“I don’t think this game is too big for anybody on my team,” Gomez said.

“This game has the potential to be something great. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re confident we can get the job done.”

Ives Galarcep is a senior writer for FOXSoccer.com covering Major League Soccer and the US National Team.

More Stories From Ives Galarcep

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

SOCCER Videos

USA gearing up for 2015 Women's World Cup Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Eric Wynalda previews what's in the store for USA in the 2015 Women's World Cup ...

Breaking down the best MLS rivalries Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Eric Wynalda speaks on the best MLS rivalries and NYCFC's impact on the league.

Should young MLS stars develop abroad? Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Eric Wynalda discusses what's next for young USA players like Matt Besler and De...

Will MLS become a world class soccer league? Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Eric Wynalda talks about the future of MLS as a world class soccer league and ho...

2026 World Cup coming to USA? Posted: Jul 07, 2014
Cobi Jones looks at the possibility of the World Cup coming to the USA in 2026.