Tigres' Ricardo Ferretti: Toronto FC would among Liga MX's best

TORONTO -- Tigres coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti was effusive in his praise of Wednesday's Campeones Cup opponent Toronto FC, suggesting the Canadian team would challenge for the Liga MX title if it played in Mexico's first division.

Liga MX 2017 Apertura champion Tigres take on reigning MLS champion Toronto in the inaugural Campeones Cup at BMO Field, in a repeat of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal last March, in which the Canadians advanced on away goals.

"I think Toronto is quality, excellent," said Ferretti in Tuesday's news conference. "It's the MLS champion. We've played them and they've got past us and we're considered one of Mexico's best teams."

"Although it is only speculating, I think they'd do well [in Liga MX]. I don't think they'd be outside the playoffs, I actually think they would be considered among the teams that are regularly in the playoffs and has a shot at the title."

Ferretti said the gap between the leagues has closed -- "the difference that existed years ago doesn't exist today" -- and that MLS has achieved a lot in a short space of time.

The Brazilian didn't appear to be delighted at having to travel to Toronto for the game, just ahead of Sunday's Clasico Regiomontano against city rivals Monterrey, but is intent on winning the trophy.

"When this institution is in a tournament, it seeks to be the best, to win and we have a squad that has a lot of experience in winning titles and this is a good opportunity," said Ferretti, who is also Mexico's interim manager.

Ferretti also hinted that the venue for future Campeones Cups should be debated.

"Is it fair or not [to be playing in Toronto]? It is what it is and we are soldiers that have to obey orders," stated Ferretti. "Naturally, they have to look at the situation. Why here and not over there [in Mexico]? There are things to be analyzed."

Tigres come into the game in seventh place in Liga MX, with Ferretti saying after last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Pachuca that his team isn't in good form. Toronto defeated LA Galaxy 5-3 last weekend, but is struggling to make the MLS playoffs, with coach Greg Vanney saying earlier Tuesday that the team's run to the CCL final took its toll on Toronto's season.