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CCL Opposition Analysis: A Closer look at Club América

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Atlanta United meets a familiar foe in a different competition

MLS: Leagues Cup-Tigres UANL at Club America Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Club de Fútbol América S.A. de C.V., or Club América as it is mostly known, is by far one of the most recognized and successful sides in Concacaf. The club from Mexico City, whose home is the renowned Estadio Azteca, has dominated both domestic competitions and the region’s international tournaments for decades.

Club América has a hundred years of existence over the Five Stripes, a century of unrivaled success in Concacaf. The last five years have been especially rewarding for the side as multiple titles saw the club etch its name into the history of the various competitions in which it played.

In 2018, the side defeated Cruz Azul, another quarterfinalist in this year’s Champions league, to win their 13th Liga MX title, a league record. The following year, the Eagles, as they are also called, defeated FC Juárez in the Copa MX. This victory in the nation’s domestic cup was a record setting sixth title.

The dominance the side has shown in Mexico’s Liga MX, which is considered a powerhouse amongst the other leagues in North and Central America, has rolled over into the region’s international competitions.

In 2015, Club América defeated MLS side Montreal Impact in the final for their sixth title in the competition. A year later, the reigning champions would defend the title against fellow Liga MX side Tigres UANL. This achievement would mark a record seventh Concacaf Champions Cup/Champions League title.

The Eagles have looked to continue their success in the recent Apertura and Clausura tournaments. The side managed to reach the final of the 2019 Apertura tournament but would lose in a penalty shootout to Monterrey, the reigning Concacaf Champions League winners. The current Clausura tournament has Club América in second, level on points with first place Cruz Azul.

Club América’s current roster has a wealth of talent led by Miguel Herrera, former manager of the Mexico national team. The side’s biggest strength is their defense. Led by veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, the Eagles have conceded just seven goals in their opening eight matches, tied with Puebla for fewest in the league.

The side hasn’t been as productive in attack, having scored eight in eight. However, this is no reflection on the talent that Herrera has at his disposal from players like Giovani dos Santos and Luis Fuentes to young talents like Sebastián Córdova and Federico Viñas.

The Round of 16 of this year’s Concacaf Champions League saw Club América just manage to advance past Comunicaciones. After both legs finished 1-1 draws, the Eagles were able to defeat the Guatemalan side in a penalty shootout.

The quarterfinals will see a repeat of the 2019 Campeones Cup, which Atlanta fans should remember was a thrilling 3-2 victory for the Five Stripes. The final was an exciting clash that had everything from missed and converted penalties, a player sent off, a Jeff Larentowicz worldie, and an Atlanta comeback. This time around the sides will play twice, with Atlanta traveling to the Estadio Azteca for the first leg next Wednesday.

Both sides have a league fixture before the first leg with Club América clashing with Pumas UNAM in the Clásico Capitalin while Atlanta plays their home opener against FC Cincinnati.

This tie will be a true test for both clubs and an opportunity to represent their respective leagues in a competition that is growing in popularity and a Liga MX vs MLS rivalry that is getting more fierce as newer MLS sides look to stake their claim amongst the very best in Concacaf.