Who are Tigres UANL? An inside look at Friday's opponents

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VANCOUVER, BC – On Friday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC continue their Leagues Cup 2023 campaign in the Round of 32 against a familiar foe in LIGA MX side Tigres UANL. Kickoff from BC Place is set for 7:30 p.m. PT, with tickets available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.

To get you set for Friday's match, we take a deep dive at Tigres, their key pieces, our history with them, and much more.

Who are Tigres UANL?

One of the favourites to win Leagues Cup 2023.

They are a powerhouse, and if you make a mistake, they have the quality throughout their team to punish you.

Just ask MLSsoccer.com expert analyst Matt Doyle, who has them as the second favourite to win the Leagues Cup.

This is a big challenge for the 'Caps, but they will be up for it.

History against Tigres

In 2017, the 'Caps made it all the way to the semifinals of the Concacaf Champions League, taking on Tigres UANL, the giants of the region and the highest spending club.

The 'Caps battled valiantly. After a 2-0 defeat in Mexico, the Blue & White scored inside the first five minutes at BC Place to cut it to 2-1. They had chances to tie it as well, but ultimately Tigres proved too strong and won the second leg 2-1, taking it 4-1 on aggregate.

Who are their key players?

Interestingly, while Whitecaps FC only have only have one player remaining from their 2017 roster, there are a few players still with Tigres that featured for them back in April 2017 at BC Place.

This includes starting goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán, fullback Javier Aquino, defensive midfielder Guido Pizarro, and of course striker André-Pierre Gignac. Also, winger Luis Quiñones played against the ‘Caps in the first leg in Monterrey.

The ageless Gignac, a former French national team star, is highly regarded as one of the very best strikers in the region, even at the age of 37, while the 32-year-old Quiñones is as crafty a winger as they come.

This year they also added 23-year-old Mexican prodigy Diego Lainez, who famously joined Alphonso Davies in speaking to FIFA congress to help bring the 2026 World Cup to North America.

What happens next?

The winner of Friday's match will advance to play the winner of Portland Timbers and CF Monterrey of LIGA MX in the Round of 16.

Should the 'Caps play Monterrey, the match will be played at BC Place this coming Tuesday, August 8. If the 'Caps play Portland, it will be played at Providence Park.