On Sunday, March 15 Club America will host rivals Cruz Azul as part of the Jornada 10 of the Liga MX Clausura 2020. El Clasico Capitalino is expected to be one of the best of the week as two of the top 3 teams battle it out. The game will be played at Estadio Azteca, with no crowd due to the precautions that are being taken to prevent the Corona Virus from spreading. The last time these two teams met La Maquina defeated Las Aguilas by a score of 5-2.
Club America: Guillermo Ochoa- Paul Aguilar, Emanuel Aguilera, Bruno Valdez, Luis Fuentes- Richard Sanchez, Santiago Caseres, Sebastian Cordova, Leo Suarez- Gio Dos Santos, Henry Martin.
Cruz Azul: Jose de Jesus Corona; Julio Cesar Dominguez, Juan Escobar, Luis Romo, Adrian Aldrete; Rafael Miranda Baca; Elias Hernandez, Alex Stik Castro, Roberto Alvarado, Orbelin Pineda; Jonathan Rodriguez
Referee: Fernando Guerrero
Club America is coming off a convincing 3-0 victory vs Atlanta United in the Round of 16 of the Concacaf Champions League. It only took Las Aguilas 35 minutes to put this game away in what was expected to be a closer game. Las Aguilas take a solid lead to go into Atlanta for the second leg, unfortunately, the second leg is currently on hold as are the rest of the leagues and cups worldwide.
In the league the story has been a little different, Las Aguilas currently sit in 3rd place. In a season full of ups and downs, injuries, and shocking news outside of the pitch, this season has not been a walk in the park for Miguel Herrera. Herrera despite all of those challenges has America in a playoff position and only 4 points behind current league leaders Leon.
Roger Martinez is back with the team and will be available on the bench in case Miguel Herrera wants to use him
Nicolas Castillo and Nicolas Benedetti have both been declared out for the rest of the season due to their injuries.
Sebastian Caceres is still recovering from a procedure in his meniscus.
Renato Ibarra is no longer a part of the club.
Cruz Azul :
Cruz Azul comes into this match in great form, they began the Jornada 10 as league leaders but currently sit in 2nd behind Leon. It is no secret that Cruz Azul is one of the hottest if not the hottest team in Liga MX right now. La Maquina comes into this game with a 9 game undefeated streak including both league and Concacaf Champions League. The last time that Cruz Azul lost a game was January 17, when Atletico San Luis defeated them 2-1.
Igor Lichnovsky is no longer on the injury report, which means he should be ready to play.
Milton Caraglio has been cleared to start working on his rehabilitation process for the injury suffered on his right foot.
Pablo Aguilar and Yoshimar Yotun are both out with injuries.
Bruno Valdez – Club America
Bruno Valdez is without a doubt one of the leaders of Las Aguilas. The Paraguayan international captained the side on Wednesday on the 3-0 win over Atlanta United. Valdez is one of the longest-serving players at the club with over 100 appearances for the club, despite being the youngest player of the projected starting backline.
Bruno Valdez is not only a great defender but is also a threat going forward. Valdez has scored 24 goals for Las Aguilas and is 3 goals away from Alfredo Tena’s record as the highest-scoring defender in Club History.
Henry Martin – Club America
Henry Martin will be in charge of leading Las Aguilas attack for El Clasico Capitalino this Sunday. Henry Martin has had a slow half of the season like most Las Aguilas attack have. In the past two games, things seem to be changing as Las Aguilas have scored 6 goals in both league and Concacaf Champions League. Henry Martin has now scored on back to back games for the first time in 2020 and will look to make it 3 vs a Cruz Azul.
Roberto Alvarado – Cruz Azul
Roberto Alvarado is coming off one of the most impressive performances by any player this season. Alvarado had what some of us would call a “masterclass” with 2 goals and 1 assist. The 21-year-old Mexican International is one of the most exciting young prospects in the league. Alvarado has the ability to play throughout the field, he’s very technical, pacey, and is a very good finisher.
Jonathan Rodriguez – Cruz Azul
Jonathan Rodriguez is having a very impressive season as the main striker for Cruz Azul “Cabecita” is currently the league’s top goalscorer with 8 leveled with Angel Mena and Andre-Pierre Gignac. Rodriguez is well on way to having his highest-scoring season since arriving in Mexico. In the Apertura 2018, Rodriguez scored 9 goals for Santos Laguna.
Last Call Giovani
Giovani Dos Santos once again will be on Miguel Herrera’s starting lineup. Dos Santos had a promising start to the campaign with a very good individual play and assist to Henry Martin. Since then Dos Santos has not been able to be able to get on the stat sheet. No assists and no goals for a player that came into Las Aguilas with the promise of being the player he once was.
Dos Santos has been inconsistent and at times nowhere to be found on the field but other times you get to see the magic he has. Dos Santos will find space where there seemed to be no space, he will pick a great pass to open up the opposition. That is the most frustrating thing about him, we all know the talent is there.
Dos Santos will have to take advantage of this opportunity because the truth is for him time is running out. Sebastian Cordova is having an incredible season and is solidifying himself as one of the first names on the team. Cordova is fast, technical, and with an incredible vision, not to mention he is ambidextrous. Cordova has everything that we once praised about Dos Santos in a younger hungrier version.
Leo Suarez is also fast adapting to what Club America wants from him and is coming off back to back games where he scored two incredible goals. Leo Suarez is a player that also has the same characteristics that we used to describe Sebastian Cordova, and they are both playing at a higher level than Gio is. With these two players taking up the right and left midfielder roles, this leaves Gio as a second striker a role that many will agree should go to Federico Viñas.
Federico Viñas is a fan favorite and one of the most exciting foreign young talents in Liga MX. The Uruguayan is a very strong player that fights for every ball and has an instinct for goal. It won’t be long before Miguel Herrera figures out that the Viñas and Henry partnership is what would create the opposition the most trouble.
The America squad seems short on paper because of everything that has happened around the club but Miguel Herrera has enough options to consider if Gio’s level does not improve. It will be interesting to see how Dos Santos plays against Cruz Azul and what decisions are made going forward.