Game: Club de Fútbol América S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Saturday, August 1st
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Coyoacán, D.F.)
Referees: REF: Adonai Escobedo González, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Jimmy Acosta Montesinos, 4TH: Abraham De Jesús Quirarte Contreras, VAR: Carlos Ayala Cuéllar, AVAR: Marcos Quintero Huitron
All-time record: América holds the lead with nine wins to Xolos’ five with the clubs playing to six draws across all competitions. The meetings have all come in Liga MX play except for two meetings in the Copa MX tournament. Xolos won the Round of 16 match in the 2016 Clausura tournament by 1-0 while América was victorious in the last Copa MX meeting, winning 4-0 in the 2019 Clausura semifinal. The last time the clubs met they played to a 0-0 draw at Estadio Caliente back on January 24. The last time they met in Mexico City, América won by a 3-1 scoreline on August 3 at Estadio Azteca thanks to goals from Guido Rodríguez, Renato Ibarra, and Giovani dos Santos’ first goal in an América uniform. Camilo Sanvezzo scored the consolation goal for Xolos.
Club América will play their first home game of the season at Estadio Olímpico Universitario as they host Club Tijuana on Saturday. The stadium swap was thanks to renovations at Estadio Azteca that will see América play home games at the home of intra-city rivals Pumas until at least August 13. Both teams come in after winning their first game of the season, as América beat Pachuca 2-1 on the road and Xolos beat Atlas 3-1 at home.
América is largely the same as last season, although coach Miguel Herrera is overseeing a bit of a changing of the guard. The only starters over 27 against Pachuca were goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Luis Reyes and Emanuel Aguilera, and midfielder Andrés Ibargüen while defender Jorge Sánchez, midfielders Santiago Cáseres (who will miss the match against Xolos on a red card suspension) and Sebastián Córdova, and forward Federico Viñas are all 23 or under.
Don’t call it a rebuild though. Córdova is a budding star on the right wing, drawing and converting a game winning penalty late in the match against Pachuca. Rumors of a possible move to Europe may have legs, especially considering the recent departures of Liga MX players to the old continent. Viñas is also a solid forward, and the 22 year old scored a gem of a goal last game. América is fast and dangerous, although to be fair the also looked tentative and hesitant at times against Pachuca.
Xolos come in after a dominant win at home against Atlas. Xolos looked largely good, with relatively few miscommunications, passes to nowhere, and other indications that seven of the starting eleven players weren’t with the team last season. Tijuana got goals from newcomers Jordi Cortizo and Jaime Gómez as well as long-timer Miller Bolaños in the win.
This was against Atlas though, a team that won just twice in the abbreviated 2020 Clausura and seems destined to miss the Liguilla again despite the expansion of the tournament to 12 teams. Atlas does not have the strength or depth of América, and even with their lackluster play from last week Las Águilas should be a much sterner test of Xolos.
THis is a potential preview of a Liguilla matchup, with many predicting América to be in the upper echelon of Liga MX teams while Tijuana is often tipped as a dark horse candidate. Both teams have room for improvement, and this one honestly could go either way depending on which team pulls it together quicker. Either way, this should be a fun one to watch.