Tigres vs Vancouver Whitecaps – Tuesday 19:00 PST/22:00 EST Estadio Universitario – Monterrey.
The match in Monterrey will be the most important game in the history of the Vancouver Whitecaps since their 2009 inception in Major League Soccer. Including the pre-MLS history it may even be the most important game for Vancouver since the club’s triumph in the North American Soccer League in 1979.
Vancouver reached the semi-final of the CONCACAF Champions League after winning four out of four games in the group stage, and then eliminating New York Red Bulls in convincing fashion in the quarterfinals.
The games in the quarterfinal could very well be remembered as the breakout moment of Vancouver Whitecaps super talent Alphonso Davies. The 16-year-old midfielder, who does not turn 17 until November, was the key player in Vancouver’s 2-0 victory over the Red Bulls in the second leg of the quarterfinal.
Now that the Whitecaps travel to Mexico, Alphonso Davies, once again, could be the key element in the Whitecaps challenge against what, at the moment, might very well be the best squad in the Americas.
Vancouver, however, will have to do better than in the first two matchdays of the Major League Soccer season. Coached by Carl Robinson, Whitecaps laboured to a 0-0 draw in the opening match against Philadelphia Union, and then gave away a 2-0 lead against San Jose Earthquakes to lose 3-2 on matchday 2.
The match was riddled with mistakes, Vancouver keeper David Ousted was sent off with a red card after committing a professional foul, and what followed was disarray by the Whitecaps backline.
Tigres’ scouts will have watched Vancouver’s game against San Jose closely, and Carl Robinson’s men can be certain that the Mexicans will severely punish any mistake by the Whitecaps.
The Tigres, however, where involved in the controversy that engulfed Mexican football on the weekend. The league was suspended after the Mexican referees’ union reacted to several Copa MX incidents with a strike.
Speaking with Mexican journalist, Nayib Morán, the Futbolgrad Network has learned that the referees were also unhappy with the attitude displayed by Tigres star, André-Pierre Gignac, as it has been hinted that the French superstar receives special protection by the league.
Liga MX has since resolved the strike by issuing drastic new measures to protect referees—players will receive automatic one-year match bans for attacking the referee in any way. But the overall question remains as to how Tigres, and Liga MX teams in general will be affected by this weekend’s events?
While, on the one hand, Tigres may have the advantage of being rested on the weekend, the players may also be distracted by the events that took place at that time. Furthermore, Tigres, who were in full match rhythm, may have lost their advantage of already being in midseason while the Whitecaps are still trying to find their form, as Major League Soccer has played just two full matchdays.
Tigres vs Vancouver Whitecaps – Players to look out for:
Tigres currently field the best team outside of Europe. The squad includes French national team striker, André-Pierre Gignac, Chilean national team player, Eduardo Vargas, and the Mexican speedster, Jürgen Damm. But the key player may very well be Guido Pizarro. The midfielder is essential in midfield for Tigres. Nicknamed Conde (the Count), Pizarro is an intelligent midfielder, whose awareness and ability to make crucial passes, makes him an important piece in Ricardo Ferretti’s tactical setup.
Alphonso Davies has already been highlighted on several occasions on this page. The 16-year-old winger is perhaps the most exciting prospect ever produced by a Canadian MLS team. The winger, who combines strength, speed, and technical abilities, is reminiscent of Borussia Dortmund’s wunderkind Ousmane Dembélé. The match against Tigres in Monterrey will be the biggest stage Davies has ever performed on, and it will be interesting to see how the young star copes with the pressure.
Tigres vs Vancouver Whitecaps – Match Stats
- This is the first time the two teams meet in a competitive fixture.
- Vancouver has committed the most fouls in the competition with 110.
- Tigres have the most valuable squad in Liga MX according to de with a value of $60 million.
- Vancouver’s squad value of just $20 million reflects that the Whitecaps will be outsiders in this match.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Tigres vs Vancouver 2-1
Guzmán – Torres, Juninho, Ayala, Advincula – Dueñas, Pizarro – Álvarez, Damm – Gignac, Vargas
Coach: Ricardo Ferretti
Ousted – Harvey, Dean, Waston, Nerwinski – Flores, Laba – Shea, Montero, Davies – Mezquida
Coach: Carl Robinson