Montreal Impact vs. Club América | CONCACAF Champions League Match Preview
Montreal Impact vs. Club América
Stade Olympique, Montreal
CONCACAF Champions League final, second leg
April 29, 8 pm ET
TV in US: Fox Sports 2, UniMás, futbol.univision.com
TV in Canada: Sportsnet One, TVA Sports 2
#MLS4Montreal reaches peak intensity on Wednesday night, as the Montreal Impact try to become the first Major League Soccer team to win the CONCACAF Champions League, in existence since 2008-09, and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup, contested annually since 2005.
While MLS teams won the CONCACAF Champions' Cup in 1998 (D.C. United) and 2000 (LA Galaxy), those final tournaments were single-elimination events hosted on US soil; no MLS club has won a regional title contested in home-and-away series.
Wednesday's second leg picks up with a 1-1 scoreline after a draw in last week's first leg at Estadio Azteca.
Montreal will be without goalkeeper Evan Bush due to yellow-card accumulation, and just who will be the Impact's starting goalkeeper remained a question as of Monday afternoon.
Club América will be playing their third game in eight days, and captain Rubens Sambueza left Sunday's Liga MX match against Chivas Guadalajara due to injury.
- WATCH MLS Now: Excitement grips Montreal (4/28)
- LISTEN to ExtraTime Radio: Can Montreal make history? (4/28)
- Newly acquired GK Nicht confident he can get the job done (4/28)
- Impact plan to relish "moment in history" (4/28)
- Montreal face two big lineup questions ahead of second leg (4/28)
- Impact sell 2,000 more tickets to reach Canadian record (4/28)
- CONCACAF confirms Bush suspension for second leg (4/27)
- Six reasons the Montreal Impact will upset Club América in the final (4/22)
- Members of 2011 RSL team recall run to CCL final (4/21)
- The final that almost never happened (4/21)
- Impact sell out the Big O (4/21)
- Impact know they can't be afraid of Club América's vaunted attack (4/20)
- Watch Real Salt Lake's magical run to 2011 CCL final (4/20)
- Everything you need to know about Club América (4/10)
- Why numbers say Impact have a fighting chance (4/9)
- Go behind the scenes of Montreal's thrilling semifinal triumph (4/8)
Man in the Middle:
CONCACAF has desigated a Costa Rican officiating crew for the second leg. Henry Bejarano will take charge of the match, with Leonel Leal and Octavio Jara serving as assistants and Jeffrey Solís the fourth official.
Bejarano officiated the second leg of the Impact's quarterfinal series, awarding a penalty kick to Pachuca that was later cancelled out by Cameron Porter's dramatic, stoppage-time series-winner. He also officiated an América match in the group stage, a 1-1 tie at Comunicaciones.
He has worked several prominent international games in the last year, including the US-Azerbaijan friendly prior to the World Cup, the US-Panama friendly on Feb. 8 and the Mexico-Ecuador friendly on March 28. He also officiated at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in January.
Born in 1978, Bejarano has been an international referee since 2011.
How they got here:
- Montreal: Group 3 winner, seed No. 4 (3-0-1; 10 pts, 6 GF/3 GA); defeated Pachuca on away goals (3-3 aggregate) in quarterfinals, defeated Alajuelense on away goals (4-4 aggregate) in semifinals
- América: Group 8 winner, seed No. 2 (3-0-1; 10 pts, 19 GF/3 GA); defeated Saprissa 5-0 on aggregate in quarterfinals, defeated Herediano 6-3 on aggregate in semifinals
If the second leg finishes tied, here's what would happen, depending on the score:
- 0-0 tie: Montreal win on away goals
- 1-1 tie: 30 minutes of extra time. If teams are still tied (by any score, no matter of away goals), title will be decided by penalty kicks
- 2-2 tie: América win on away goals (or with any higher-scoring tie)
The Opponent – What you need to know about América
Coach: Gustavo Matosas (Uruguay)
Position: T-6th in Liga MX (6-4-5; 23 pts, 16 GF/16 GA; Last five games: D-L-D-W-L)
Best CCL/Champions' Cup finish: Winners (1977, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2006)
Star player: Oribe Peralta
The 31-year-old Peralta came off the bench in the first leg to change the game and score the tying goal. A veteran of Champions League campaigns past with Santos Laguna, the 2013 CONCACAF Player of the Year was rested on Sunday against Chivas Guadalajara, which could indicate he'll get the call from the start in the second leg.