Toronto FC are moving on to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League after dispatching the Colorado Rapids in the Round of 16, 2-0 on aggregate.
Next up for the Reds, a clash with arguably the region’s top side. Here’s everything you need to know about TFC’s next CCL opponent.
WHO: Tigres UANL (Mexico), founded in 1960
Fourth CCL appearance, two-time runners-up (2015-16; 2016-17)
Currently in fourth place in the 2018 Liga MX Clausura (5-3-2), two points back of first place
Tigres are back in the quarterfinals of the CCL, advancing past Costa Rican side C.S. Herediano 5-3 on aggregate in the Round of 16.
QUALIFICATION: 2016 Apertura champions; 2017 Clausura runners-up
Tigres finished the 2016 Apertura season in third place, three points back of first place Tijuana. In liguilla (a championship stage tournament similar to the MLS Cup Playoffs), Tigres defeated Pumas UNAM and Club León in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, to advance to the finals against Club América, where they took home the title on penalties.
In 2017 Clausura season, Tigres finished seventh, but made an impressive run back to the finals, defeating archrivals Monterrey and Tijuana along the way. They were defeated in the final by Guadalajara, 4-3 on aggregate.
Tigres are also the reigning champions in Liga MX, taking home the 2017 Apertura crown by defeating Monterrey in the final, 3-2 on aggregate.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Nahuel Guzmán (GK), André-Pierre Gignac (FW)
Guzmán is one of the top shot stoppers in Mexico, boasting some impressive hardware. The Argentine international was the hero of Tigres’ 2016 Apertura triumph, being named MVP of their second leg win over América to seal the title. He was also named the best goalkeeper of the Apertura 2016 with 9 clean sheets.
Up top, Tigres have arguably the country’s most lethal striker. After a successful career in his native France with top clubs like Toulouse and Marseille, Gignac made the move to Mexico in 2015 and has become a national icon. The Frenchman has scored 73 goals in 133 appearances for Tigres, including five goals in 13 appearances in the CCL. Gignac was part of France’s 2016 squad that finished runners up at Euro 2016.