The CONCACAF Champions League continues on its second day of activity where two Liga MX teams will search to stay active in the tournament.
On Wednesday, February 19th Comunicaciones FC will host Club America as part of the first leg in the CONCACAF Champions League round of 16. The two teams previously met in the group stage of the 2014 Concacaf Champions League, the results ended in a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 America win.
Comunicaciones FC: Jose Calderon-Stevhen Robles, Allan Miranda, Michael Umaña, Rafael Morales- Jorge Aparicio, Rodrigo Saravia, Alejandro Galindo- Jostin Daly, Rafael Lezcano, Agustin Herrera
Club America:Oscar Jimenez- Jorge Sanchez, Bruno Valdez, Sebastian Caceres, Alonso Escoboza- Sebastian Cordova, Santiago Caseres, Richard Sanchez,Alonso Escoboza; Gio Dos Santos- Henry Martin
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Comunicaciones is one of the biggest clubs in Guatemala, The Cremas have won the Guatemalan league 30 times. Comunicaciones come into the game having won 3 of their last 4 games and are current league leaders in the Liga Nacional de Guatemala. The Cremas are looking to get back to their silverware winning ways after a five-year league title drought.
Comunicaciones are the most expensive squad in the Liga Nacional de Guatemala. The squad is made up of several Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala national team players. Agustin Herrera is also a part of this team, the former Santos Laguna player is one of the most lethal strikers in the Liga Nacional.
Comunicaciones come into this match as the second-highest scoring team in Liga Nacional with 14 goals in just 8 matches.
Club America continues to gain momentum and keep moving up on the Liga MX table after capturing another win versus Atlas this past Saturday night, beating Los Rojinegros 2-0. After what seemed to be a rough start Miguel Herrera has finally got the team going, Las Aguilas won their third game in a row and got the fourth clean sheet of the season.
Miguel Herrera spoke to press when they arrived in Guatemala, confirming that everybody is available for the Wednesday match except for Renato Ibarra, Nicolas Castillo and Nicolas Benedetti who are still recovering from long term injuries. But in a positive note, Sebastian Caceres is expected to make his debut for Club America on Wednesday.
Jostin Daly vs Jorge Sanchez
Jostin Daly is one of Comunicaciones’ most dangerous weapons, the 21-year-old Costa Rican is starting to become an impact player for the Cremas. Daly has scored three goals in the current Liga Nacional Season.
Daly is a striker with the ability and speed to play as a winger. Daly on the wing usually plays on the left side but has been used as a right-winger in the past few weeks as well. Depending on what lineup America decides to play with, Daly could see himself playing against Jorge Sanchez most of the match.
Jorge Sanchez is not living his best moment with the Aguilas. The Mexican International had consolidated himself as one of Miguel Herrera’s go-to players but has lost his role due to Luis Fuentes’s good form. Jorge Sanchez has been heavily criticized for his form since the Liga MX final.
The visit to Comunicaciones and the rotation to that the squad will have will prove Jorge with another chance to come back to the starting lineup. Jorge Sanchez will play a crucial role in trying to stop Jostin Daly from becoming the dangerous threat that he can be.
Henry Martin/Federico Viñas vs Michael Umaña
Henry Martin is one of the doubts Miguel Herrera has going into this game. The Mexican international picked up a knock leading up to the Atlas game last Sunday. Federico Viñas had to step up in his absence and the Uruguayan left his mark with Las Aguilas on his return. Viñas scored a brace and he proved that he was ready to pick up where he left off the last liguilla. If Henry Martin is not at 100% for the midweek match we will see Viñas up top again. Whether it is Viñas or Martin they will have to constantly be up against Michael Umaña.
Michael Umaña is one of the most experienced players that Comunicaciones. The 37-year-old is the captain and the leader of this team. Umaña has a long history of teams in his resume including LA Galaxy and Saprissa and has over 100 appearances for the Costa Rica National Team.
Umaña will play a crucial role by stepping in to prevent the link-up of the strikers with the attacking midfielders behind him. It is no secret both Henry and Viñas know how to hold the ball and shield it very well. Both can serve as a post and create a chance when the spaces get tight.
Stevhen Robles vs Giovani Dos Santos
Giovani Dos Santos had a good start to the season with an impressive skill move that gave America the first win of the season over Tigres. After that, we started to see a Gio playing a lot better and more adapted to the team. In the past few weeks, Gio has come down to earth and has not been a big factor for Las Aguilas. Dos Santos was one of the players that were rested vs Atlas this weekend to be ready for the match against Comunicaciones.
In this match, Gio will play a crucial role if Club America wants to come back from Guatemala with any type of lead. Dos Santos can be a game-changing piece for Miguel Herrera. Dos Santos can play anywhere on the field, he can play as #10 or on any of the wings, Dos Santos also has the ability to play as a second striker. His versatility is important for America because Dos Santos is the type of player that can cause a lot of trouble for Comunicaciones.
In this matchup, Gio will go up mostly against Stevhen Robles a midfielder converted to left-back and who has been playing as a right back. Robles is a player that opposing teams try to attack because he has been playing out of position. The goals that Comunicaciones has allowed this season have been through the right side of the field with the player that Robles has to be marking finishing the play.
If Gio is allowed to move freely around the field he will have one of his best performances as an America player, I believe he is the key to this game.