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Femenil: Club America visit Cruz Azul in Week 1 for another edition of the Clasico Joven

Will Cruz Azul finally defeat America or will the Águilas easily overcome ‘the machine’?

America v Tigres UANL - Final Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Femenil Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Clausura 2023 is here and Club America are ready to start a new journey after a difficult end to the Apertura 2022 with a loss in the championship series. First up is the Clasico Joven against Cruz Azul (10AM PST/12PM CST/1PM EST) where the Aguilas are looking to keep their clasico streak alive with yet another win against city rivals.

Both Cruz Azul and America ended the Apertura 2022 in the same fashion; without a trophy, and are now looking towards a new season where the objective is the same: win a championship.

Cruz Azul will do this with the help of a new head coach and new faces on the roster. Nicolas Morales took over the head coaching position from Roberto Perez who helped take ‘the machine’ to a liguilla appearance but failed to make it past the first round. While the team split ways with many players, they also added new ones that are sure to help them make another postseason run. The two biggest names added to the roster are Hilary Garcia and Norma Palafox.

Garcia arrives through a loan from Guadalajara after the defender didn’t see a lot of action on the field. With a temporary move to Mexico City, this might just be what Garcia needs in order to get back to the level she was once at and hopefully compete for a starting role. Palafox makes her way to Mexico City after parting ways with Atlas following just one season. She was once talked about as one of the best in the league but since her return from the reality series Exatlon. she has not been the same player. Just like Garcia, a change of scenery might just be what is needed.

Club America already have a high caliber roster, so they didn’t need to make big changes, unlike other teams. Their biggest issue was finishing their chances. In order to do that, they brought back a beloved Águila: Sarah Luebbert.

Luebbert was a beloved player not only for Club America, but for the rest of the league as well. Her departure at the end of the Clausura 2022 was a tough pill to swallow, but there was nothing anyone could do since the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL had called her back after a year away on loan. After wrapping up the season in America, Luebbert was out of contract with Chicago and decided to make her way back to America. Her presence will add to the already stellar lineup the Águilas have and it will be interesting to see just how head coach Angel Villacampa balances out the starting lineup.

While fans are happy Luebbert was brought back, some weren’t with the club’s decision to let go of Janelly Farias, Renata Masciarelli and Mayra Pelayo. All three were not in the future plans Villacampa has for the team. Both Farias and Masciarelli had issues with Villacampa and were benched halfway through the season. They were eventually even kept off the bench as a form of punishment for issues with the coach. Eventually things were resolved and both players were able to come back, but it was evident nothing would be the same and they might be better off parting ways at season’s end. Their departures are not surprising, but they will be missed. America filled in these vacancies by signing goalkeeper Itzel Velasco and Karina Rodriguez. Rodríguez played in the NWSL but made her way to Mexico City after receiving little minutes for the Washington Spirit.

When America visit Cruz Azul at La Noria, the hosts will look to record their first ever win against the Águilas. There has only ever been one draw between the two clubs, while America have won their last five games. Will Cruz Azul finally take down their rivals or will America take yet another edition of the Clasico Joven?

The game will be available on ViX for free in the United States while in Mexico it will be available on ViX+.