Houston and Atlante will renew hostilities tonight as the two teams will play in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. The first leg is in Houston and the next leg is scheduled for March 3 in Cancun.
The series will feature a different tiebreaker than the CONCACAF Champions Cup we became accustomed to. This time, away goals will serve as a tiebreaker. With the onus on the road team to score and the hosts to try and maintain a zero, these knockout games might have a bit more intensity.
It also means that Atlante could put a damper on Houston's spirits with one goal, even if the MLS side wins. Houston tied Pumas in Mexico City a year ago, but no MLS team has ever beaten a Mexican team on Mexican soil during a CONCACAF match. Of course, should Houston win tonight and draw next week, that would be enough to see them through no matter now many goals Atlante scores.
Atlante will bring a squad that has played more poorly than not in league this season. With a 1-4-2 record, Atlante are among the bottom of the pack and need to improve quickly to have a chance at the playoffs. Still, Luis Gabriel Rey is a formidable player. Atlante doesn't have the most anemic attack in Mexico but they've scored just eight goals in seven games.
Here are some stories on the game:
Houston Chronicle previews the game
A breakdown by Goal.com
USA Today looks at the tournament