Winter weather has complicated Santos Laguna’s approach to their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal clash with the New York Red Bulls, as the Liga MX side were held back in Mexico an extra day due to the cancellation of their flight to New York for the first leg of the series, set for Tuesday at Red Bull Arena (8 pm ET; YahooSports.com, UDN).
Los Guerreros ("The Warriors") were set to fly north on Sunday to give themselves time for a training session on site – a potentially useful exercise given the drastic difference in climatic conditions between high-altitude Torreon, Coahuila, where temperatures climbed past 80 degrees Fahrenheit this week, and Harrison, New Jersey, presently in the grip of bitter cold forecast to send the mercury plunging well below the freezing point by gametime.
But storms disrupted their initial itinerary and forced the squad to travel on different flights in a series of smaller groups.
“The first team could not travel yesterday to New York, as planned, due to the cancellation of its flight from the city of Guadalajara, due to a winter storm arising during the night of Sunday and early Monday morning,” read a club statement released Monday.
“Various alternatives and solutions were sought, so that the board, technical body, players and staff will be arriving tonight in different groups, to fulfill the commitment of the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League.”
One of Mexico’s perennial contenders, Santos currently sit in sixth place in Liga MX and were on a five-game unbeaten run across all competitions before suffering a 3-0 loss at Leon on Saturday. The team will jet directly to Veracruz after Tuesday’s match to resume league play against Los Tiburones Rojos on Friday night, then host RBNY in the second and decisive leg of their series next Tuesday.