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Chivas need depth, Salcido can handle TFC

CONCACAF Champions League
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Toronto FC vs. Chivas: early predictions

CONCACAF Champions League
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Chivas need to add depth but shouldn't worry about Salcido vs. Toronto FC

Editor's Note: These pieces originally appeared on ESPN Deportes and was translated for ESPN FC.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- The Chivas roster, a club on the verge of winning a CONCACAF Champions League title, needs to strengthen its ranks for the second half of 2018 given what awaits them after this season -- including a possible trip to the FIFA Club World Cup this December in the United Arab Emirates.

The first priority on Chivas' list must be to define Rodolfo Cota's status at the club. The goalie has already stated his desire to stay with Chivas in case they get the ticket to the UAE. If necessary, he would need to talk with Pachuca owner Jesus Martinez about either extending his loan or granting him a permanent move.

Defensively speaking, the team is also in need of a few tweaks. Carlos Salcido has already admitted he will leave by the end of the current season, thus ending his career. There are also some doubts around the future of Oswaldo Alanis, who seems set to join Spanish side Getafe when his current contract expires in June. However, just like Cota, his conditions could change if Chivas earns a spot in the Club World Cup.

Beyond these particular cases, Chivas' defensive line must be enhanced due to the current lack of options. Those are the most pressing concerns for the Guadalajara club, in order to leave behind the last two domestic tournaments of the 2017-18 season, which have been marked by less-than-stellar performances, and aim at qualifying for future Liguillas in order to compete once again for the championship.

There is no doubt that Chivas must reinforce and improve. Without some upgrades, it would be almost impossible for them to compete in the Apertura 2018 and the Club World Cup with the current roster. -- Jose María Garrido

Worried about Giovinco? Salcido has already faced the very best

Carlos Salcido will be pushed to the limit by Toronto FC's attack but has already had plenty of experience against top strikers.

During his time in Europe, the Mexico defender has faced some of the most threatening forwards in the game: Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Tevez among others.

Sebastian Giovinco played for a long time in Italy's Serie A, where he was able to show his talents playing against some of the best teams. During the CONCACAF Champions League, he has also proven that he's got unique skills. However, Chivas was able to pull off a win at Toronto's BMO Field 2-1 despite a great performance by Giovinco.

Even though the Italy playmaker is capable of making a huge difference, Salcido has on his resume the fact he has played against the very best strikers in the world. His tenure in the Dutch and English circuits, combined with his performances for El Tri, gave him the opportunity to gain that precious experience.

The list of forwards Salcido has faced in different tournaments sound like a who's who of some of the world's best: Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ibrahimovic, Tevez, Cavani, Luis Suarez, Messi, Luis Figo and Neymar.

Europa League: Salcido, born in Ocotlan, Jalisco, played in the Europa League with PSV Eindhoven in 2009-10. He faced Bundesliga side Hamburg, with Van Nistelrooy (in the final years of his career) on the roster.

Champions League: Salcido played three UEFA Champions League with the Farmers. In 2006-07 his side reached the quarterfinals, facing Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool) and Thierry Henry (Arsenal) along the way. In the 2007-08 and 2008-09 editions, he played against Figo, Ibrahimovic and Hernan Crespo, who played with Inter Milan.

Premier League: After two Eredivisie championships and a Super Cup with PSV, Salcido went on to English side Fulham. In the 2010-11 season, his only year in the UK, he faced Luis Suarez (then with Liverpool), Manchester United's Nani, Mario Balotelli and Tevez of Manchester City, and Chelsea pair Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba.

World Cup: The Chivas defender has played at three World Cups: Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. He played against Figo, who was part of the Portugal national team, in his very first match.

In 2010, he played every single minute for El Tri, facing Argentina's Angel Di Maria, Messi, Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain. Uruguay's Diego Forlan, Suárez and Cavani were also his responsibility, as was France and Bayern Munich star Frank Ribery.

He only played 90 minutes in Brazil 2014, during the quarterfinal match against the Netherlands, a side that had stars like Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben on its roster.

Olympics: Salcido was one of three over-24 additions to the Mexican National team for the London 2012 Olympics, alongside Jesus Corona and Oribe Peralta. In the Gold Medal match against Brazil, he faced Neymar. -- Carlos Herrera

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