On Tuesday, the Estadio TSM in Torreón, Coahuila will provide the setting for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and Santos Laguna. Both teams will be seeking to raise their game after a goalless stalemate marked the first leg at the Galaxy's StubHub Center.
Galaxy manager Bruce Arena is expected to stick with the same side from last week; spearheaded by captain Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, and Giovani Dos Santos.
Defense, though, was clearly the priority for Bruce Arena as he prepared his team for the 2016 season. That said, what may be in doubt is whether the team can come up with the defensive resilience required at a big away game like this one so early in the season.
Santos Laguna, meanwhile, will welcome the likely return of forward Djaniny Tavares. Missing in the first leg through injury, Djaniny is a key character in the Santos squad. The Cape Verdean is known for having the potential to come up with something special and power his way through the opposing defense in the attacking third.
A week ago, Santos Laguna would have been seen as favorite to win this one. The odds, though, have probably got a bit closer over the last few days. In a win or bust quarterfinal, another goalless draw after 90 minutes could well mean extra time and then penalties.
On paper, at least, the Galaxy continues represent the most straightforward path to the semifinal from any of the remaining MLS sides. An away goal may well contain the key to the destiny of the Galaxy's tie. It is up to Santos Laguna to stop that from happening.
Match date/time: Tuesday 10:00pm EST, 9:00pm local
Venue: Estadio TSM, Torreón, Coahuila, México
TV: FOX Sports 2 (English),Galavision (US - Spanish)