Game: Club León Fútbol Club vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.
Date: Saturday, March 2nd
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio León (León, Gto.)
Referees: REF: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AR1: Alberto Morin Méndez, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo
After a bit of a slow start, Santos Laguna (4W 2D 2L) has finally caught fire. In the past three matches across all competitions, Los Guerreros have outscored their opponents 15-2. In fairness, two of those matches were against Honduran side CD Marathón in Concacaf Champions League play. They’re also undefeated in their past three Liga MX matches, going from ninth place at the start of Week 7 to fifth.
Santos also was able to rest some of their starters. Julio Furch only played the first half on Wednesday against Marathón, while Jonathan Orozco, Diego Valdés, Ayrton Preciado, and Javiér Correa didn’t play at all. Santos may elect to rest some of their other players, as they’ll be making a trip to New Jersey on Sunday to prepare for their Tuesday match against the New York Red Bulls.
They’ll come up against a León (5W 2D 1L) side that is as hot as they are. León are undefeated in their last eight across all competitions, although they were eliminated from the Copa MX by FC Juárez in penalties on Wednesday. La Fiera have been playing fun, attractive soccer and are enjoying a career season from Ángel Mena. Mena has seven goals and six assists, and was been named Player of the Week for Week 6 by a poll of Liga MX English-language writers and broadcasters.
The key to getting a result against them may be to score first, however that’s easier said than done. León’s defense has stepped up this season, allowing a league low six goals so far this season. The teams that have scored first have all been able to get results. Tigres UANL (6W 1D 1L) and Monterrey (5W 3D 0L) got draws and rivals Tijuana (4W 1D 3L) were able to get a win, and all scored first.
León will also be missing José Macías, who picked up two yellow cards in the last game out against UNAM Pumas (2W 3D 3L). Macías is a big loss for La Fiera, as the forward has contributed five goals so far this season.