Guadalajara’s Almeyda on SCCL: “It fills us with dreams”
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Guadalajara head coach Matias Almeyda (right) is interviewed during the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League draw on December 19, 2017, in Doral, Florida, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

DORAL, Florida – Since Matias Almeyda was given the Guadalajara managerial reins in September 2015, the Mexican side has won a Liga MX title [2017 Clausura] and two Copa MX trophies [2015 Apertura, 2017 Clausura].

Now, Chivas are aiming to earn another honor under the Argentinean’s leadership: the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.

“We’re happy to be able to participate in this cup,” said Almeyda, whose side will face Dominican Republic debutant Cibao FC in a SCCL Round of 16 series starting in February. “I place a great importance on it, and, always, when one begins a new tournament, it fills us with dreams.”

Sandwiched between the pair of matches with Cibao will be the Clasico Nacional with Liga MX rival Club America. Almeyda admitted that it will be difficult to strike the balance between the two competitions.

“We always try to put our best on the field,” the 43-year-old remarked. “The week that we begin the Champions League, in the middle, we have the match against America, so we know it will be a difficult week. I consider this cup to be something very important, so we will try to advance at each turn.”

With such a heavy workload expected once the Champions League begins, opportunity will knock for some of the younger squad members, including recently-acquired striker Ronaldo Cisneros – a standout in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship and FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017.

Almeyda is optimistic that playing time for Cisneros in the SCCL can lay the groundwork for a bright future at the club.

“Ronaldo is a signing for the future and, as much for him as all young players, this type of tournament can provide experience and a ton of good things,” he finished. “We hope that he can play at some point.”

Guadalajara has captured the CONCACAF club championship once, claiming the inaugural Champions’ Cup title in 1962.

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