San Luis and Chivas are already in Copa Libertadores but Pachuca could add to the number of Mexican teams in South America's top international tournament. Pachuca will face Universidad de Chile on Wednesday in the first of two legs that will determine a spot in the tournament proper.
Most of us are familiar with Pachuca, as they've done well in Mexican league play and have met MLS clubs in various competitions in recent years. But what's the deal with their opponents? The Touchline's Sean Grybos took a look at U de Chile ahead of the clubs' play-in series:
Copa Libertadores Preview: Universidad de Chile
In the Preliminary Round, Pachuca will play in a home-and-away series against Universidad de Chile. Pachuca travels to Chile on January 28 and hosts Universidad on February 4. The away goals rule will be utilized if needed. The winner will advance to the Group Stage.
The side qualified for South America’s most prestigious tournament by winning the Group Stage of Chile’s Clausura 2008. In the stage, the club scored 38 points on a 12-2-4 record. Since 2004, a domestic title has eluded La U.
Stadium: Estadio Nacional: With a capacity for over 77,000 supporters, the Santiago-based stadium is also used by the Chilean national team.
Manager: Sergio Markarián: After his successful 2008 run at Mexico’s Cruz Azul where he lead the side to the finals of both the 2008 Clausura and 2008 Apertura, the Uruguayan manager moved to Universidad. Will he find the same amount of success in Chile?
Key Squad Members
Manuel Villalobos: The 28-year-old forward is a capable scorer. He came up through the youth ranks of rivals Colo-Colo but now calls La U home.
Rafael Olarra: This is the defender’s third stint with the club after several forays in Europe. Will the 30-year-old captain be able to organize the back against an efficient Pachuca attack?
Miguel Pinto: The 25-year-old goalkeeper has spent his entire career at the U starting over 100 league games since 2004.