Club America finds themselves on the cusp of a playoff spot as las Aguilas claim the ninth spot in the league standings. After defeating their local rival Pumas, in a 3-2 contest, America returns to league play having to face a Monterey squad who has just one defeat for the season.
While America has earned seven points in their last three matches, their roster has decreased in size and skill since then. The loss of Renato Ibarra because of injury and the suspension of Pablo Aguilar reduced the number of role players for las Aguilas. Club America’s reduced roster led coach Ricardo La Volpe to shake his lineup to find a fit. With the shakeup, La Volpe found an opportunity for 16-year-old Diego Lainez to debut on the league. At his young age, Lainez appeared at comfort filling in for Ibarra and dissuading a complete dropoff of the team’s attack.
Versus Pumas, America played their most productive game on offense with three goals. In their win, Silvio Romero scored his first goal of the season, Oribe Peralta brought his goal total to four, and Cecilio Dominguez scored his third goal in five league games.
For Monterrey, who find themselves one spot off of first place with 19 points to Gudalajara’s 20, Rogelio Fines Mori and Dorlan Pabon have bolstered the Rayado’s attack. On defense, the former America goalie, Hugo Gonzalez, has seen just four goals on his watch, in his eight starts to the season.
Given America’s recent improvement and Monterrey’s candidacy for the championship, Saturday night’s matchup presents a game with serious repercussions throughout the league’s playoff pitcture.
Date: Saturday, April 1
Time: 8:00 PM Pacific, 10:00 PM Central, 11:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
Television: Univision Deportes Network (US-Spanish), Univision (US-Spanish), TDN (Mexico), Canal de las Estrellas (Mexico)