MEXICO CITY -- Club America's Miguel Herrera believes Atlanta United must take down the American continent's biggest club if the MLS outfit is to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Las Aguilas host the Five Stripes in the first leg of the quarterfinal in Estadio Azteca on Wednesday, in a game that pits one of Liga MX's giants against arguably MLS' biggest club.
"They are taking on the mightiest team in America," warned Herrera in Tuesday's pregame press conference in Mexico City. "We are the greatest team, fighting it out with River [Plate] and Boca [Juniors] to be the best on the continent."
Herrera described Atlanta as a team in a "young league" that is investing more money and "getting better all the time."
"We'll go out with the desire to win and to try to get a result so we can try to finish off the series off over there [in Atlanta]," he continued.
Herrera admitted that the loss of Atlanta striker Josef Martinez to an ACL tear earlier this month represents a major blow, but added that the 2018 MLS champion still has plenty of depth.
Atlanta United coach Frank de Boer said before leaving that Club America would be seeking "revenge" for the loss in the Campeones Cup last August, but was happy to tell press in Mexico City that his team will be up against it in Estadio Azteca and that he agreed with Herrera's assessment of Las Aguilas' grandiose.
"[America] is one of the great teams in this continent and deserves that title," said De Boer, speaking in Spanish. "We've got respect for them, but we think we can take a good result back to Atlanta and we have confidence in that.
"I know that their roster is better than ours and that we have some injuries, but we can put out a very good team to get a good result to take back to Atlanta."
The Club America boss also confirmed his starting XI, with usual starters Guillermo Ochoa, Sebastian Cordova and Federico Vinas all missing out.