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Santos Laguna's new stadium would be a great showcase for the club in Copa Libertadores, thus making InterLiga more important than it already was, said goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.

Santos Laguna is one of the teams taking part in the InterLiga 2009  for the opportunity at a chance for a ticket to the Copa Libertadores. Captain and goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez said it’s an obligation for the team to win a berth to the South American competition. The tournament takes place in the United States from January 2-13 in Frisco and Houston, Texas, and Carson, Calif.

For Santos, it is an opportunity to expand on the team brand especially with a new stadium. A foray into the Copa Libertadores would give greater exposure to the Mexican team.

“For us it’s important because our team [Santos] is doing great things in Mexico. We were champions a year and a half ago. We have the hopes to internationalize ourselves with the new stadium that turned out great. It’s our intention to participate in the Copa Libertadores so that the team can become better know internationally,” said Sanchez in a conference call.  

“It is an obligation because this team has a great infrastructure, a new stadium and good management with plans to advance and transcend. They [the management] are loyal and honest and that obligates us to look for the next step into the Libertadores.”
 
Santos are in Group A along with America, Atlante and Estudiantes: all teams that are well known to Santos.  

“We know our three rivals well. They’re good teams that are in preseason training like we are. They want to win the games as well and we’re going with that intention: winning and let the best win. Obviously, I hope it’s us.”  

The team is also settling in with new manager Ruben Omar Romano after the dismissal of Sergio Bueno, and according to the goalkeeper Santos should have little problems adjusting.   

“We’re doing well. We’ve all started well with Ruben [Romano] from the beginning. We’ve gone through a good preseason. We have worked on tactics with Ruben and we know what he does well and that he likes to play futbol. This team has been together for a while and it won’t have problems getting into Romano’s scheme.”  

Although preseason training has been in affect for the various teams, Sanchez believes the timing on the tournament hinders the output of the participating teams.  

“It’s a time when the teams don’t arrive at their best because they just come from preseason training at the beach. That has its consequence of not showing the best level from each team.”

Andrea Martinez, Goal.com

For more coverage of the Mexican Primera Division, visit Goal.com's Mexico page.

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