The Sounders announced a deal to host Mexican LigaMX side Club Tijuana in an international friendly to be played March 24th in Seattle. The two clubs Academy teams will also compete that day, earlier on.
We are excited to welcome Club Tijuana to Seattle – one of the premier clubs in Mexico’s topflight. It has been a stated goal of our club to excel in the CONCACAF Champions League, and competing against a team like Xolos allows us to prepare for the rigors of this year’s tournament and to test our players against some of the top talent in our region.”- Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer
Club Tijuana was only found in 2007 and became the fastest team to win a Mexican league title after promotion to the first division, as they captured the 2012 LigaMX Apertura title just 2 years after entering the Primera division. For that title, they were invited to the 2013 Copa Libertadores, where they reached the quarterfinal round of South America’s top international tournament. Tijuana are currently 2nd in the 2015 Clasura, just one point behind Cruz Azul.
Tijuana will bring their academy team as well, as stated before, and that match will also provide great experience for youngsters on both ends of the pitch. Early international experience can be a great motivator and development tool for young players. The match will also help keep Sounders FC first team players fresh and in playing form during a 2 week break in our MLS season. The Sounders don’t have a league match scheduled from March 14 to March 28.
This is just the 2nd international friendly the Sounders have hosted against a LigaMX side, with the last one being Chivas in 2010, a 3-1 victory for the boys in Rave Green. Last season, Seattle held English side Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-3 draw.
It will be great for the Sounders to gain experience against a top LigaMX side, as this seasons entry into the CONCACAF Champions League will most likely see them come up against other teams from Mexico’s top division. Seattle, and MLS as a whole, have not had success against teams from our neighbors to the south. LigaMX is considered by many to be one of the best leagues in CONCACAF, and until MLS teams find ways to consistently knock them out of the region’s international tournament, that reputation will stand.