Game: Club Deportivo Marathón vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.
Date: Wednesday, February 20th
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano (San Pedro Sula, Departamento de Cortés, Honduras)
Television: United States (in Spanish) - Univision; Mexico - FOX Sports Latin America; Puerto Rico (in Spanish) - Univision; Canada (in Spanish and English) - TSN; Costa Rica - Repretel; El Salvador - Canal Doce; Guatemala - RTVG Guatemala; Honduras - Televicentro; Nicaragua - Radio and Television Nicaraguan
Streaming: Yahoo! Sports (United States and the Caribbean in English), fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Univision NOW (United States and Puerto Rico in Spanish)
How they got here: Santos is participating by virtue of winning the 2018 Liga MX Apertura. Marathón won the 2018 Honduran Liga Nacional Clausura.
History in the tournament: Santos Laguna returns to the Concacaf Champions League for the first time since 2015-16. In that tournament, they lost in the semifinals to Club América. Santos has been the tournament runners-up twice, losing in the final to Monterrey in both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 tournaments. This is Marathón’s first trip to the CCL since the 2012-13 tournament when they failed to advance from a three team group stage with Seattle Sounders from Major League Soccer and Caledonia AIA from Trinidad and Tobago. Marathón has reached the quarterfinals twice, getting knocked out by the Puerto Rico Islanders of the USL in 2008-09 and UNAM Pumas in 2009-10.
Players to watch: For Marathón, Colombian striker Yustin Arboleda scored a league-best 24 goals in the combined Apertura and Clausura. The 27 year old has played professionally in Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Guatemala, and Honduras. Marathón has also recently signed veteran forward Carlo Costly. The 36 year old Costly is probably best known for his stints with Atlas and the Houston Dynamo, but he’s also played with Birmingham City and clubs in Poland, China, Turkey, Romania and Greece throughout his career.
For Santos, it might be best to talk about the players who might not play. Last season’s leading goalscorer Julio Furch missed Santos’ last match on Saturday against Cruz Azul. Santos has a wealth of players who could play up top in place of Furch, including Ayrton Preciado, Javier Correa, and Marlos Moreno. Preciado doubles as a winger and Correa has been partnered with Furch in Santos’ two striker system, so Moreno might get the nod in addition to the other two instead of in their place.