Chris Armas
USA Today Sports

All Focus Turns to Club Santos Laguna in Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals

Following the New York Red Bulls first MLS match of 2019, the team will not have much time to refocus on the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals. 

With a 1-1 draw in hand, all eyes turn to Club Santos Laguna out of Liga MX.

"We’ll quickly shift the focus," Head Coach Chris Armas said. "We have a proud team back home watching tonight’s performance with an eye on Tuesday. We quickly start the work – continue the work tonight -- with Santos Laguna, understanding it’ll be a different challenge, one in our building. We’re excited for it."

Santos Laguna advanced to the Quarterfinals with an 11-2 aggregate scoreline over Marathón of Honduras. They qualified for the Champions League after winning the Liga MX Torneo Clausura in 2018.

This is the sixth appearance for Santos in the tournament, first since 2015-16.

"I think we know where they’re strong up the field," Armas said. "They have some clever attackers, speedy wingers and I think tonight’s game is actually a good prep for that, but we think we know their weaknesses too and we’ll do our best to expose that. So, Champions League is much different, especially because these types of matchups come at the end of the year typically right, so now where every play matters, every corner kick you give up matters, like tonight."

New York made their way to the next round following a 5-0 aggregate win over Club Atlético Pantoja.

"We are taking one game at a time, understanding exactly the demands of Leg 1 in our building, where every goal for us, how it counts, every goal for them it counts, understanding the discipline its going to take, understanding our opponent, respecting our opponent and that nothing’s a given," Armas said. "We want to win every game we play, but the minute you start thinking you’re there, before you’re there, I think we humbled really quickly. We’re going after it."

The Red Bulls welcome Santos Laguna to Red Bull Arena for Leg 1 on March 5 at 8 p.m. ET. Leg 2 will take place at Estadio Corona on Tuesday, 12 at 9 p.m. ET.