It goes without saying that the task is a difficult one, though Armas said he and his team go into the encounter without spotlighting the disadvantages facing them and other MLS teams.
"There’s many things in football that you either have control or you have no control," Armas said in a pre-match virtual press conference. "We can control training, we can control tactics, we can control how physical our team is, we can control many things but we cannot control where Leon has played many games and they have a good rhythm, physically and with their football. ... We can go with good energy. We can play Toronto football."
"Toronto football" will likely be redefined this year, as Armas takes the reins after Greg Vanney ended his six year spell with the club at the end of the 2020 season. Armas gave some hints as to how his Toronto team might look during the first leg of the tie.
"Will you see our team pressing? Yes," Armas said. "Will you see our team organized in a mid-block? Yes. Out of that structure, will we be aggressive? Yes. Will you see our team try to play quickie and vertical with the ball, try to play with a tempo? I’m sure we will."
Armas also shared that team unity is a priority against Leon, and it seems he and his players already have a strong working relationship. Bradley said the team has fully gone with Armas' ideas since the start of preseason, and are clear on the objectives of Wednesday's game.
"We want to try to put them in a game they don’t like," Bradley said. "We want to put them in a game that is fast and hard and intense and we want to use our qualities to go after them. As I said earlier, we have big respect for them as a team, the success that they’ve had and we know that if we’re not at our best, then they can punish you, but again, we are coming here with the mentality to go after them, to go after the game, to try to play our football."
Armas sees similarities between his Toronto team and Leon, which he thinks will result in a match that "goes in different waves." He argued that makes it easier for Toronto to prepare for Leon because "we train against that all the time."
"They’re a team that has a lot of intelligent, technical players that understand time and space and much like us, they try to play central," Armas said. "They try to move you around with the ball, without the ball but they do try to overload the central areas. ... This challenges teams. Like us as well, they rely on their defensive organization, counter-pressing to stifle teams and pin teams in."
Despite confidence in their abilities going into the start of their quest to become the first MLS club to land a CCL title, Toronto are solely focused on the match ahead of them. Bradley noted that, as a team used to challenging for titles, Toronto will aim high in the tournament but that they are taking things "90 minutes at a time."
"Let’s see where we are at this point in the season," Bradley said. "Let’s see how we’re able to hold up in a really big game. As I keep saying, we are really excited for the challenge. We’re up for it in every way."