Game: Atlético Morelia S. A. de C. V. vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.
Date: Friday, October 5th
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Morelos (Morelia, Mich.)
Referees: REF: Eduardo Galvan Basulto, AR1: Alberto Morín Méndez, AR2: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, 4TH: Guillermo Pacheco Larios
All-time record: Monarcas holds the slight edge all time with 22 wins to Santos’ 21, and the clubs have 16 draws between them. The only time the clubs have met outside of Liga MX play was in the 2003-2004 Interliga when Monarcas won 3-2 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. In their last meeting, Santos downed Morelia 1-0 at Estadio Corona TSM on January 13 thanks to a Julio Furch goal in the 60th minute. The last time the clubs met at Estadio Morelos, Morelia came out on top 3-1. Monarcas got goals from Ray Sandoval, Miguel Sansores, and current Santos midfielder Diego Valdés while Furch got the lone goal for the visitors.
Santos Laguna (8W 2D 3L) followed one of their worst performances of the season with one of their best, downing Tijuana (5W 3D 5L) 4-1 in Torreón. They head to Morelia to face Monarcas (6W 1D 6L), who won a 3-2 thriller against Cruz Azul (3W 7D 4L) in their last outing.
Morelia has looked good even though they’re a team in flux. Manager Pablo Guede has only been in the role since August and has his club currently in eighth place in the league. Guede jettisoned Rodolfo Vilchis, Carlos Fierro, and Irven Ávila and brought in Luis “Quick” Mendoza, Lucas Villafañez, and Fernando Aristeguieta. The results have been stark, with Monarcas tripling the amount of wins they had all of last season with five games left to go.
Santos comes in as superlíder, the position they’ve held for 10 of the 15 weeks. Uruguayan manager Guillermo Almada has utilized the skills of wingers Brian Lozano and Eryc Castillo to create a fearsome cast around leading goalscorer Julio Furch. Santos is the only club with 30 goals on the season, two more than Necaxa and León and more goals than Toluca, Juárez, and Veracruz combined.
It’s not only the offense that’s been shining for Santos. The defense has been solid minus the match against Tigres. Goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco just played his 100th game in goal for Santos and has been playing some of his best soccer in recent memory.
At times Monarcas has looked dangerous at home, however they’ve also looked shaky as well. Santos is a quality team top to bottom, and if they play as good as they can they should head back to TSM superlíder for the 11th week.