Toronto FC have not faced the exact circumstance they now take on at in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final on Wednesday night (9:30 pm ET; TSN in Canada | UniMás, UDN, go90.com in US).
That said, captain Michael Bradley says the range of situations the Reds have encountered as one of the continent's most successful sides will have them plenty prepared for the task ahead in Guadalajara.
"I think we have a group that draws on all the big experiences that we’ve had together over the past few years," Bradley told reporters in Mexico on Tuesday. "We’ve played finals, we’ve played two-legged series, we’ve been ahead, we’ve been behind. We’ve been at the edge, we’ve had to defend leads. We have big experience in moments like this. And we’re going to step onto the field tomorrow night and go for it."
After Chivas de Guadalajara took the first leg 2-1 at BMO Field last Tuesday, Toronto are faced with needing to win and score multiple goals in the second leg at the Estado Akron to secure their first continental trophy. (They'd win the title outright if they do so by any final other than 2-1, which would send the cup tie to penalties.)
Toronto has twice recently won away legs in aggregate ties, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-0 in the 2018 CCL Round of 16 and the New York Red Bulls 2-1 in the first leg of the 2017 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Vanney believes the current situation is most similar to the 2016 Eastern Conference Championship, when Toronto overcame a 3-2 first leg deficit against the Montreal Impact to win the tie 7-5 on an aggregate.
"We were down 3-0 within 20 minutes," Vanney recalled Tuesday. "It was an incredible two-legged affair which we won in the end. We had to attack in the second leg, and we did. And the game was wide open, and we took advantage of all of our opportunities. So we know what it’s about."
Bradley quashed the idea that Chivas' players might be distracted by a public dispute over bonuses that players say reportedly went unpaid after the Liga MX side won the 2017 Clausura league and cup titles. Players took part in a group protest online over the weekend against the club's directors.
"I think if anything it brings the group together even more," Bradley insisted. "It makes them more committed, more determined to show what a strong group they are and to make sure that they give everything for themselves to be successful."
Bradley also stressed that, while he understands winning the CCL has been a goal of MLS teams since the tournament's inception, Wednesday's result shouldn't be taken as a referendum either way.
"People sometimes get so caught up in this discussion of the insecurity of how good the league is or trying to compare it with other leagues around the world," Bradley said. "It’s a useless discussion. Our opportunity to play in this tournament, to play on big nights, to play against the biggest and best Mexican teams has been something that we’ve really enjoyed and relished every step along the way. And we’re going to step on the field one more time tomorrow night for 90 minutes and leave everything possible that we have on the field to win this competition."