Houston Dynamo’s skillful midfielder, Boniek García, already knows what it feels like to go play in Torreón, Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Garcia played at Torreon’s Estadio Corona against Santos Laguna in the 2011-12 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, when he was still playing for his Honduran club, Olimpia. His team lost 3-1 at Torreon before falling 4-3 on aggregate in their preliminary round series.
Despite the fact that Torreon has been a difficult place to play for both MLS and non-MLS teams, García feels optimistic about the Dynamo getting the necessary result on Wednesday to advance past Santos.
“The truth is that the atmosphere is a very hostile atmosphere,” the Honduran midfielder said after Houston’s last training session before their trip. “Knowing what Santos means in Torreón, they are a very difficult team that is going to pressure us from the first minute, but we are going with the idea to play a great game. We have a minor advantage and we have to try to take care of it the best way possible.”
The Dynamo enter Wednesday's match with a 1-0 lead in the series. If Houston wins, ties or losses by one goal (unless Santos wins 1-0), the Dynamo will advance to the Champions League for the first time since the 2008 Champions Cup.
García, who has played three of the five games in the 2012-13 competition, knows that it is going to be hard, but believes that the team is focused on progressing to the next stage. The Honduran midfielder hopes that his prior CCL experience will help the Dynamo in their quest to advance through the tournament. With Olimpia, Garcia participated in four consecutive Champions League competitions from 2008-2011.
“Being in Olimpia, we had a lot of interest [in winning the tournament],” he said. “I think that was also demonstrated here last Tuesday that there are bigger things like aspiring to the Club World Cup.”