HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo are halfway through their season and coming off a stretch of12 games in 40 days, while Club America is just starting its 2019 Apertura.
Both teams, however, say they're ready for their meeting Wednesday night at BBVA Stadium (8:30 pm ET | TUDN, ESPN+ in the US, TSN GO in Canada) in the Leagues Cup quarterfinals.
Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera pledged to field a strong side against the Mexican traditional powers even amid his side's busy stretch.
“We will present a very good team and they have the responsibility," he said. "When he puts on the shirt, he represents the team in a competition and even more in an international game - the responsibility is much greater."
That doesn't mean there won't be squad rotation, but Cabrera says he will weight the need to give some players minutes against trying to advance. The Dynamo 23-player roster for Wednesday includes three players from the Dynamo’s hybrid USL affiliate the Rio Grande Valley FC, but excludes star striker Mauro Manotas and three regular starters along the backline.
"What we do is try to balance it so that the boys who need minutes or are looking to get into the regular XI, take advantage of this game,” he said.
For his part, midfielder Juan David Cabezas is looking forward to the match against one of the biggest teams in Mexico.
“Obviously, it’s a different situation than we face throughout the league (MLS). We already know the teams that we are playing against, because we have played against them before,” he said. “Now, especially the game tomorrow against America, we don’t know much how they play. It’s a good [opportunity] because we can show that we are on the same level, on a good level and a tough level, and they are the ones, one of the best teams in Latin America.”
This is the second all-time meeting between the Dynamo and America in an official competition. The Dynamo snatched a 1-0 win in the SuperLiga group stage in 2007.
This time around, though, Las Aguilas appear very sure of their roster and their ability to move on in the competition
“The teams mentality is that when America plays, we have to go out and win it, we have to go out with the whole team, all our team is complete,” said head coach Miguel Herrera. “We know that the MLS has grown a lot, it’s an important league, but we have an important goal and it’s to win this tournament.”
Although America is at the beginning of their season they will face the Dynamo coming off a win off fellow Liga MX giants and defending Concacaf Champions League winners CF Monterrey to open their season, and before that a Campeon de Campeones Cup victory over Tigres UANL.
Herrera didn't give any hints about his starting XI, saying only that all 24 players on his tournament roster have the mentality to "win it all," beginning with Wednesday's quarterfinal.
“We have seen that [Houston] is a good team and that it has several good players, and we also have good players, so we will go at it and see who advances to the next round,” said America midfielder Sebastian Cordova. “We are complete and we will enjoy the tournament and compete.”