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Concacaf Champions League match preview: Santos Laguna vs. CF Montréal

Santos has a golden opportunity to get 2022 back on track as they take on CF Montréal in CCL play.

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Detail of the Santos bench prior to the 17th round match between Santos Laguna and Atletico San Luis as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on November 7, 2021 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club de Foot Montréal

Date: Tuesday, February 15th

Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: OSHANE NATION (Jamaica), AR1: DAMIAN WILLIAMS (Jamaica), AR2: RICHARD WASHINGTON (Jamaica), 4TH: STEFFON DEWAR (Jamaica), VAR: DANEON PARCHMENT (Jamaica), AVAR: RICARDO MONTERO (Costa Rica)

Television: United States - FS2 (English), TUDN (Spanish); Mexico - FOX Sports; Canada - OneSoccer; Caribbean - Flow Sports; Costa Rica - ESPN, Repretel, Teletica: El Salvador - ESPN, YSU Canal 4; Guatemala - ESPN, RTVG; Honduras - ESPN, Televicentro; Panamá - ESPN, Mediapro (NexTV); South America - ESPN (Star+); Italy - One Football

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo, OneSoccer (Subscription), Vidgo (Subscription), YouTube, ConcacafGo

All-time record: The clubs faced off back in the 2008-09 Concacaf Champions League when Montréal were the Montréal Impact and in the United Soccer League, the second division in the United States. Santos lost the first leg at Stade Saputo in Montréal 2-0 but beat Montréal 5-2 in the old Estadio Corona in Torreón to advance. Santos lost in the next round to Atlante 4-3.

Pedro Caixinha, head coach of Santos during the 5th round match between Santos Laguna and America as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on February 12, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico.
Pedro Caixinha has drawn the ire of Santos fans after the club has gotten of to a sluggish start.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

While the start of the Liga MX season hasn’t gone exactly to plan for Santos, they have an opportunity to put that behind them at least temporarily as they host CF Montréal in the opening round of Concacaf Champions League play. Santos comes into the match having lost four straight games in Liga MX, their longest losing streak since 2011. They’ve also lost two straight at home for the first time since 2016, with fans voicing their displeasure on social media after the match.

This could however be what Santos needs to jumpstart their season, playing an international foe at home. Montréal hasn’t played a league match yet in 2022, playing three training matches in Florida against New York City FC, Inter Miami, and the Philadelphia Union. They finished the 2021 Major League Soccer season in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 12 wins, 10 draws, and 12 losses. They qualified to the CCL by virtue of winning the Canadian Championship, beating archrivals Toronto FC 1-0 in the Final.

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy looking towards the camera during the first half at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac
Wilfried Nancy enters his second season as a head coach after a 2021 campaign that saw Montréal finish 18th out of 27 teams in Major League Soccer.
David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Wilfried Nancy is entering his second season as Montréal’s head coach, having worked his way through the coaching ranks with the club and making his coaching debut at the start of the 2021 season. Montréal has two players on loan from Bologna FC in Italy’s Serie A, 23 year old goalkeeper Sebastian Breza and Gabriele Corbo, a 22 year old defender. Former Celtic, Southampton, and Tottenham defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama is the club’s only listed Designated Player.

Still, Montréal finished tenth out of 14 teams in the east and 18th out of 27 teams in the overall table and have yet to face live competition in 2022. They’re last in Major League Soccer’s own column ranking the likelihood of an MLS team winning the competition, which they have never won in the current format and last won when it was the Concacaf Champions Cup back in 2000.