Club América open the season at home tonight welcoming FC Juárez to the Azteca. The team looks to defeat the border city squad in the season opener with new head coach André Jardine at the helm, but this might be a bit more challenging than in seasons past. The Águilas will not have multiple players available due to either the Gold Cup or injuries/suspensions while this Juárez team is set on making this season a different one after making some much needed shakeups to their roster.
It feels like it was only a month ago the season ended, and that’s because the season did wrap up a month ago. The reason for the early start to the season is the Leagues Cup which will put a pause on league play for three weeks. The early start means that Club América, like other clubs, will not have their usual starters because of the Gold Cup. The club will be missing the following players:
Luis Angel Malagon, Kevin Alvarez, Nestor Araujo, Israel Reyes, Alejandro Zendejas, Henry Martin, Jonathan Rodriguez, and Alvaro Fidalgo.
Rodriguez is out due to injury and Fidalgo will serve his suspension that stems back from the semifinals during the Clausura 2023.
While the team has a lot of talent to replace the missing players, those that are on international duty will be sorely missed. Malagon will be missed the most considering backup goalkeeper Oscar Jimenez will more than likely be in goal, and so far has not lived up to the expectations when on the pitch. Now the Águilas will need to have faith in their backup goalkeeper for at least two games, and that’s only if Mexico crash out in the quarterfinals. On top of the goalkeeper situation, the front line also looks bleak. Players such as Diego Valdes, Brian Rodriguez, and Leo Suarez will need to step up big time in the attack as well as other players who are normally on the bench.
Considering América will be missing six of their starters, Juárez have more of a chance to take the three points. For years now, Juárez have been near the bottom of the table, but the offseason has proven things could be turning around for the Bravos. During the offseason, the front office brought in three new additions to the team that proves they’re willing to bet on youngsters to help build the team which is something league fans know is unusual. Usually, teams bring in older players from other leagues instead of giving minutes to the youngsters in their academies. Juárez did differently with the additions of Haret Ortega, Diego Campillo, and Sebastain Perez Bouquet. The latter two were crucial in helping Tapatío win the Liga de Ascenso title. All three will play alongside Denzell Garcia who is already a starter with the team. That’s four youngsters on the roster who will more than likely be starters in a league that has the unfortunate reputation of not allowing youngsters to flourish with the first team. The results might not come for the team immediately, but the stones have now been set.
When: Friday, June 30, 2023 @ 6:00 PM PT/7:00 PM CT/9:00 PM ET
Where: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico.
Where to Watch: ViX+ (Mexico), FuboTV (USA), TUDN (USA), Univision (USA)