Seattle Sounders FC will face off against Liga MX powerhouse Tigres UANL (7:00 p.m. PT; ESPN2, TUDN, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS) at Lumen Field in the Quarterfinals of the Leagues Cup on Tuesday, August 10. This annual single-elimination tournament will feature top teams from MLS and Mexico’s top-flight league, with Pumas, León, and Santos Laguna joining MLS clubs Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City SC New York City FC.
Here are five reasons why you should not miss this Leagues Cup matchup between two preeminent North American clubs:
The Beginning of Sounders FC in Leagues Cup
This match marks Sounders FC’s first appearance in the Leagues Cup. The Rave Green are 4-8-2 all-time against Liga MX sides, all coming in Concacaf Champions League play, and will be eager to gradually move that record into a positive balance through a win over Tigres.
A Historic Rematch in the Making
This is the first Sounders FC vs. Tigres UANL match since the Concacaf Champions League Knockout Stage thriller that saw Seattle eliminate the Mexican club with a 3-1 win (3-2 agg.). The Sounders mounted a 3-2 comeback victory over Tigres to advance to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League by way of goals from then-rookie DeAndre Yedlin with an impressive volley, a 30-yard screamer from Djimi Traore that rattled the crossbeam, and a final goal from Eddie Johnson to seal the victory. Sounders became the first MLS team to eliminate a Mexican club in the Knockout Stage.
Battle of Liga MX Tested Strikers: Raúl Ruidíaz & André-Pierre Gignac
The last time Ruidíaz faced off against Tigres was in February 2018, when the then Monarcas Morelia forward scored a daring long-distance shot in a Liga MX Clausura match, leaving the Tigres opposition completely stunned.
Ruidíaz began his Liga MX career after joining Morelia in 2016. He quickly became one of Mexico’s best goal scorers, leading the league with 20 goals in his 2016-2017 campaign. The Peruvian followed up that year with another 20 goals in his 2017-2018 season. Ruidíaz's 40 goals in Liga MX play throughout that 2016-2018 period trailed only one person — Tigres' André-Pierre Gignac.
Proving Ground for Regional Competition
Following a July 14 training session at Starfire Sports, Brian Schmetzer spoke to the media and announced his plans for the Leagues Cup quarterfinals matchup, declaring:
“We’re going to put our best team out there. It’s Tigres, we’re putting our best team out there.”
With Alex Roldan and Cristian Roldan returning from a successful Gold Cup campaign with their respective nations, we should fully expect the duo to be a staple in Sounders FC’s Leagues Cup lineup. The brothers have started every match they have been available for during this 2021 MLS regular season.
Gold Cup Grudge Matches: Broldans vs. Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez
USMNT’s Sunday, August 1 victory over Mexico for the Concacaf Gold Cup will be fresh on the mind of Tigres’ fullback Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez, who started the match for the Mexican National Team. Roldan entered that match for the USMNT with the score at 0-0 in the 65th minute. The Sounders midfielder’s high-paced, direct play provided a boost of energy to the red, white and blue before Miles Robinson headed in the winner at the 116th minute.
Cristian won’t be the only Roldan taking part in a Gold Cup rematch—as recent El Salvador ‘La Selecta’ addition Alex Roldan has an opportunity to claim redemption for El Salvador’s Gold Cup Group Stage loss to Mexico, where Chaka scored the game-winning goal for Mexico. Both played a full 90 minutes in that match.