The state of Club America’s season turned more turbulent with the one year suspension to Pablo Aguilar, as a result of the referee strike that put a halt to Week 10 of Liga MX. Aguilar’s suspension came just a few days after Renato Ibarra’s season came to an unfortunate end after serious leg injury. For la Jornada 12, America face their inner-city rival Pumas in another edition of the Clasico Capitalino.
In their first half of the season, las Aguilas played the majority of their matches against teams either struggling to stay in the first division or owning one of the bottom half spots in the standings. Pumas, who are currently tied for the most goals in the tournament at 15, enter the match hovering one spot over the eighth spot of the standings. While three points separate the city rivals, America’s difficulties have announced themselves louder as the season has progressed.
For one, to put the team’s offensive struggles into perspective, last season’s duo of Oribe Peralta and Silvio Romero combined for 19 goals. At 10 games into this season, the duo has just five goals combined. Pumas’ Nicolas Castillo outscores the combined efforts of Peralta and Romero with six goals.
Then there is the aforementioned absences of Aguilar and Ibarra. Since the league shut down last week, las Aguilas have yet to play a league game without Ibarra and Aguilar on their roster. Ricardo La Volpe has the option of finding a replacement for Aguilar in the team’s bench or reserves, but Aguilar’s presence in the back won’t come easy, especially with the rapid attack of Pumas. Seven games remain in the season so finding a replacement for Ibarra at the right wing and Aguilar at the back has turned into one of the America’s crucial tasks to address. To make matter worse, Paolo Goltz will also be missing through injury.
That said, Pumas has yet to lose at home, and with the shrinking depth of America’s roster, Pumas appear as the favorites in the Clasico Capitalino.
Club America 2-1 Pumas UNAM - September 4, 2016
La Volpe debuts as coach and takes his first victory at America.
Date: Sunday March 19
Time: 11:00am Pacific, 1:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Universitario, Mexico City, Mexico
Television: Univision Deportes Network (US-Spanish), Univision (US-Spanish), Canal de las Estrellas (Mexico), UnivisionTDN (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)