The Campeones Cup was founded last year. In an effort to increase the level of competition in North America, the MLS and Liga MX made the decision to have the MLS Cup winner face off against the Campeon de Campeones for a piece of regional silverware. UANL Tigres won the first edition of this event, beating Toronto FC 3-1 with Jesus Dueñas notching a brace. Club America will look to follow in the footsteps of their compatriots, while Atlanta United are out to win it for the MLS.
Don't miss the second Campeones Cup from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN2.
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MLS teams have a terrible track record against Liga MX teams in regional competitions. No MLS team has won the CONCACAF Champions League, and eight of the 11 CONCACAF Champions League Finals have been between Mexican teams.
Club America made it to the Campeones Cup after knocking off Tigres UANL in the Campeon de Campeones last month. That match was 0-0 after full time with UANL having most of the possession, but Club America having the better chances. The match went to penalty kicks, and Club America were able to edge UANL 6-5 there.
The 2019-20 Liga MX Apertura season started in mid-July, and last year’s Apertura winners are off to a great start. Club America hammered Monterrey in their first match with Nicolas Castillo notching a brace, and they earned a draw against contender Leon in their next match. They eventually handled Club Tijuana 3-1 last week in a game they largely controlled, but disaster struck when Castillo collided with Tijuana’s goalkeeper in the box. Castillo suffered a broken fibula, and he won’t return until 2020.
Atlanta United earned their spot here as a result of winning the 2018 MLS Cup. The Five Stripes were the top team through most of the last half of the season, and they fulfilled their promise by beating Portland 2-0 in December. Josef Martinez and Franco Escobar scored Atlanta’s two goals in that match.
The Five Stripes have been fantastic at home this season, and the oddsmakers might have them favored when the Campeones Cup betting odds are released early in the week. Atlanta United have won nine of their last ten home games, and they just recently set the MLS regular season single game attendance record.
The loss of Castillo is a devastating one for Club America. The Chilean was fantastic for Pumas UNAM in his previous stint in the league, tallying 25 goals in 39 matches. He was signed by Benfica after that splurge, but he never broke in with the Portuguese club and came back to the league in February. He had scored seven goals in 14 matches prior to the injury. America will also be without goalkeeper (and El Tri national goalkeeper) Guillermo Ochoa due to an adductor injury.
Atlanta United believe that Josef Martinez should be healthy enough to play in this match, and that would be a huge boon. He set the MLS single season scoring record in 2019, and he has been the top scorer in the Eastern Conference this year. Forward Brandon Vazquez might not be available, and the status of Kevin Kratz and Brek Shea is in doubt.
Player to Watch
Brad Guzan is sometimes overshadowed on an Atlanta team with so much attacking talent. Guzan has been the club’s goalkeeper for much of their short existence, and he has been voted to the MLS All-Star team in each of the last two seasons. He will likely need to make at least one big save even if America don’t have Castillo.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
If an MLS team is ever going to beat a Liga MX team for a trophy, this is the moment. Atlanta United are looking strong, largely healthy, and playing at home, while two of America’s stars are out.
Campeones Cup Odds: Atlanta United 2, Club America 1
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