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Match preview: Chivas de Guadalajara Femenil vs. Club América Femenil

The second ever regular season Clásico Nacional Femenil is tonight as both teams look to strengthen their Liguilla position.

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Mexican Soccer Stadiums Remain Empty Due To Coronavirus Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images

Game: Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. Femenil vs. Club de Fútbol América S.A. de C.V. Femenil

Date: Monday, November 16th

Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio AKRON (Zapopán, Jal.)

Referees: REF: Karen Hernández Andrade, AR1: Sandra Elizabeth Ramirez Aleman, AR2: Alma Karen Martínez Vargas, 4TH: Martín Gerardo Juárez Jiménez, ASES: Manuel Rodríguez Jiménez

Television: United States - NBC Universo; Mexico - FOX

Streaming: Telemundo Deportes; CHIVASTV; fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription)

All-time record: The all time record stands with Chivas winning two, América winning two, and the clubs drawing once. The last time the two clubs met was in the 2019 Apertura quarterfinals when América prevailed 3-0 on aggregate with goals from Dani Espinosa and Jenn Muñoz in the first match and Espinosa had the lone goal in the second leg.

Licha Cervantes became Chivas’ all-time leading scorer this season, having amassed 32 goals in her two seasons with the club.
Alicia “Licha” Cervantes has reinvented herself with Chivas, scoring 12 goals so far this season.
Photo by Alejandro Rodriguez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas (12W 2D 1L) has won three straight. América (9W 4D 2L) is undefeated in their last three. While both of these teams have already qualified for the Liguilla and these late season points are valuable, this is the Clásico Nacional Femenil. Prior records mean little, only what’s left on the field after the 90th minute is what matters in these ones.

Chivas has been one of the most dominant forces in the game this season. They’re the only team to beat Monterrey (12W 2D 1L), and their loss came against a powerful Atlas (11W 2D 2L) team who was looking to make a statement against their cross-town rivals. Since that loss, Chivas has outscored their opponents 14-3 in five matches.

Chivas is a complete team, as good offensively as they are defensively. Offensively they are second only to Tigres (14W 1D 0L) in goals scored. “It’s because they have so many (talented) strikers now,” says Ana Jurka, host of Telemundo Deportes’ Cambio de Juego sports show who will also be on the call for the match for NBC Universo with Iris Cisneros and Manuel Sol. Jurka points out that they not only have Alicia “Licha” Cervantes, but they also have Norma Palafox, and Carolina “Caro” Jaromillo.

Cervantes has revitalized her career since leaving Monterrey at the end of last season, scoring 12 goals, which is fourth best in the league. Carolina “Caro” Jaromillo “is just getting back to her best momentum,” says Jurka. “Remember, she was injured and she almost (gave up playing) soccer, and she got this opportunity (with Chivas),” taking full advantage of her second chance. “Just at the right time,” Jurka continued, “she’s started scoring goals.” Jaromillo has six in almost 1200 minutes this season. Defensively, Blanca Félix and the defense has allowed just eight goals in 15 games and allowed just one goal in their first six matches. Despite losing center back Janelly Farias for the season due to a shoulder injury, the team has allowed only eleven goals, tied (with América) for second best in the league.

“I think they feel supported,” said Ana Jurka, host of Telemundo Deportes’ Cambio de Juego sports show who will also be on the call for the match for NBC Universo with Iris Cisneros and Manuel Sol. She specifically points to support from coach Edgar “El Chore” Mejía and Sporting Director Nelly Simón. “I feel (like) they give (the players) so much confidence, but at the same time le jalan los orejas if they’re not doing something well.” In other words, players are told in no uncertain terms if they’re not meeting standards. “There’s harmony on the team, (and) there’s a very healthy competition internally between them,” Jurka said.

Daniela Espinosa has 10 goals on the season for Club América.
Daniela Espinosa has 10 goals on the season for Club América.
Marien Saavedra/Club América

América on the other hand has been very good, but not as consistently great like Tigres, Monterrey, Chivas, or Atlas. They blew out Mazatlán FC (6W 2D 7L) 8-0 in Week 8 but have come up with 0-0 ties against Puebla (3W 4D 8L) and Querétaro (7W 4D 4L) at home in the Coapa. Defensively they’re solid, but comparatively speaking they’ve struggled offensively. They’ve scored 30 goals, which is impressive, but take out the blowout against Mazatlán and they’re tied for sixth with Pumas (7W 3D 5L) and Querétaro.

“With América,” Jurka says, “the strength is (their) defense and their individuality,” which she admits can be a double-edged sword. “It can be either really good to have one good player that all of the sudden can do something amazing, or it can go the other way.” Especially when you come up against a team that’s playing as a collective unit, much in the way Chivas is at the moment. “That’s what happened the last game against Querétaro. (Querétaro) put up a fort against them, and (América) couldn’t figure out what to do. I think it’s because they’re not playing as a team, they’re playing more as individuals.”

“There’s not a balance,” Jurka says. “In Chivas, they score a lot of goals but they also have a good defense that’s there whenever they need it.” The lack of balance is also extended to goalscoring for Las Águilas. América’s biggest goalscoring threat is Dani Espinosa, who has scored 10 goals on the season so far. Casandra Cuevas has six, but after that it’s three players tied with just two goals.

América is also dealing with a rash of injuries. Ximena Ríos was diagnosed with a broken big toe on October 21 and was said to miss four to six weeks. Jenn Muñoz has a broken wrist from the same time frame and will miss about four weeks. Verónica Pérez will be out until about the same time after having surgery to repair damage to her meniscus. It would be a stretch to see any of these players in action this week.

The great thing about these clásicos however is that they’re the games where the greats truly shine through and moments of magic are made. While this is only the second time these clubs will meet in the regular season, these players all feel the weight of history that rests on their shoulders in what should be a fun spectacle.