Real Salt Lake will try to claim a berth in the FIFA Club World Cup with a second leg win over Monterrey in the CONCACAF's Champions League final on Wednesday.
The Utah-based club, which earned a 2-2 draw last week in Mexico off a last-gasp goal from Javier Morales in the 89th minute, would be the first Major League Soccer side since the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2000 to win the crown.
"Just to have that possibility in your mind's eye about being able to lift the trophy in front of a sellout crowd screaming for us, that's the stuff that dreams are made of," Real coach Jason Kreis said. "We have to feel good about what we accomplished down there, but it's a measured good for sure because this is still a very dangerous opponent."
The winner will advance to the FIFA Club World Club on 8-18 December in Japan. Brazilian clubs won the first three such events while UEFA Champions League squads have captured the past four.
Real Salt Lake, unbeaten in their past ten home matches, will face a Rayados side seeking their first continental crown in its 66-year history.
"This team has shown a lot of character," Monterrey president Luis Miguel Salvador said. "I don't think that Wednesday will be the exception. We are conscious of what we are playing for."
Monterrey manager Victor Manuel Vucetich said Salt Lake "dirtied" the match last week, adding fuel to Real's fire for the rematch. "Talk is cheap," said Real forward Fabian Espindola of Argentina. "If they are as good as they say, they have to show it. If they are superior, let them come here and do it."
Kreis added: "I personally feel like they disrespected us and I hope we can show them what kind of team we are."
Midfielder Kyle Beckerman, Real's captain, will miss the match, serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation after being booked in Mexico. "We will miss his leadership out there," said Real midfielder Andy Williams, a Canadian who will likely move into the lineup for Ned Grabavoy, Beckerman's likely replacement.
Monterrey will be without striker Aldo de Nigris, also out with accumulated yellows, while captain Luis Perez, injured last week, is doubtful.
"This is a tournament in which we have battled hard to reach this moment," Monterrey centerback Jose Maria Basanta said. "We want to win."