The Apertura 2019 offers a potential Finals preview as the Esmeraldas host the almighty Aguilas on Saturday night.
Leon appears to have picked up right where they left off in the Clausura 2019, when they were the best Liga MX road team. But up next is a real test – America is coming to town.
Last weekend, the Esmeraldas marched into Pachuca for their Apertura 2019 season opener and collected 3 important points by beating the Tuzos decisively. Coach Ignacio Ambriz did not play it safe, starting out with all his artillery on the front line.
Management had brought in reinforcements and Ambriz put the new players to use, and it paid dividends. Both new forwards – Ismael Sosa and Leonardo Ramos – scored in their debut with the Esmeraldas. Young striker Jose Juan Macias added the third in the club’s 3-1 victory over th Tuzos. Last season’s regular-season champs demonstrated they will be a dangerous team again.
America has retooled as well and they showed their intentions by beating title contenders Monterrey 4-2 at the Estadio Azteca. Striker Nicolas Castillo scored twice while midfielder Matheus Uribe and forward Roger Martinez rounded out the scoring for the Aguilas.
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America comfortably gathered all 3 points from a big rival, making it clear that they are a team to be reckoned with despite the departure of Edson Alvarez for Europe. America continued their winning ways Wednesday night in the Leagues Cup, getting past the Houston Dynamo in a penalty shoot-out, with new acquisition Giovani Dos Santos playing the hero.
Coach Miguel “Piojo” Herrera never shies away from a good fight and his aggressive approach has paid dividends since he returned to America and Saturday night’s match in Leon could be a real statement game.
This game will go some way in predicting the future of the season for both teams even though the tournament is still very young. I don’t see this game ending in a draw and both teams have plenty of artillery on their rosters, so there will be goals. I see America pulling off a mild upset at Estadio Leon, primarily because Herrera has established very solid team chemistry and it is evident on the field.