CCL Round of 16 Preview: Club Leon Looking to Upset LAFC

CCL round of 16 preview Club Leon LAFC
SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 14: Jane Barreiro of Leon controls the ball during the 6th round match between Atletico San Luis and Leon as part of the Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX at Estadio Alfonso Lastras on February 14, 2020 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

Leon, Guanajuato – CONCACAF Champions League is back for this year ready to crown a new champion. A competition that has become known as duel between Liga MX and MLS. Again gets ready to watch these two battle it out from the beginning. Arguably the most anticipated game of the CCL Round of 16 has to be Club Leon vs LAFC. A game that has been talked about the most among MLS & Liga MX fans and experts alike.

Since the announcement of the game the LAFC community has kept a close eye on the Guanajuato side this season. As these two get ready for Tuesdays match everyone will be asking the question as to whether or not this game can live up to its expectations.

Preview: Club Leon vs LAFC 1st Leg

Club Leon come into this match as favorites ahead of LAFC, but not by much. The Mexican side has started of the new year on the right foot. With six games in, Leon sit 3rd in the Liga MX table with 12 points, winning a total of four games and losing only two.

On top of that Leon are the second best scoring team in the league with a total of 14 goals scored, nine of those being scored at home. Meanwhile, LAFC continue to be in preseason mode as they try to do their best to catch up to their opponent in fitness and rhythm. 

Leon’s Troubles at the Back

Being one of the better teams this season in the Clausura 2020, Leon have had there difficulties at time especially recently losing 3-1 to Atletico San Luis. To get a better insight on the team I’ve asked Club Leon expert Kari Torres, host of the Lions Den Podcast a couple of questions ahead of the game. In regards to the lingering issues for Leon and how they could fix them on Tuesday match miss Torres had this to say;

“Leon’s biggest weakness is defensively. We’ve had our best center defensive mid out (Ivan Rodriguez) due to injury and is making his way back. Defensively we haven’t adjusted to what worked so well last year where we had the best defense. They’ll have to be mindful and consider the rival. Marking Carlos Vela is going to be tough but shutting him down will be major”

Adding that she believes the Mexican attacker is the key piece for LAFC and went to compare how Leon differ from that when it comes to their attack. Kari said, “People underestimate the attack Leon has.

We have plenty of goal scoring options across the field from Angel Mena, Jean Menesas, to our captain Luis Montes and even our right back Fernando Navarro.” Stating Leon isn’t so centered on just one player but can attack as a whole rather than rely on one player.

Importance of Having Home Field Advantage

With Leon receiving LAFC and having home field advantage I asked Kari how important this would be for Leon. She said, “It’s very important being at home for the first leg. For MLS teams playing in Mexico is tough. The atmosphere will be like no other and I can only imagine what the fans have prepared for this match.”

Leon being a very dominant team at home with a great goal scoring record to show for it, LAFC will need to be cautious. While Leon will have to go out and play their game and take the game to the MLS side and try to secure their pass onto the next round at home.

MLS vs Liga MX Headling Once Again

Since the announcement of this match the headlines have read MLS vs Liga MX yet again. Many pose the question if this year will be the year the MLS proves the gap is closing between each league. Or will Liga MX continue to rain superior as they have these past few years. I asked Kari if Leon where to fall at the hands of LAFC would it be considered a failure for the club and the league? She said;

“I think until that happens I can’t really say if Leon losing would be a failure. But it would not be a failure for Liga MX. I mean come on we’ve seen what side dominates this tournament. Therefore I don’t believe the gap is closing between these two leagues. Even if Leon where to exit the tournament Liga MX still has teams representing who are capable of becoming champions.”

 A lot will be said of this league comparison come Tuesday after the final whistle. Based on the final outcome of the match can those arguments have more truth for either side. Leon will definitely have a weight of expectations to fulfill but will feel more than capable at home.

Last Word on Leon vs LAFC

This match will be intense and depending on how both teams plan for this match the outcome should be interesting. Expect Leon to be the dominant force for this match. They will do everything to try and kill off LAFC in the first leg. Whilst we can’t promise you goals, one thing this game does promises is plenty of excitement. LAFC have plenty to look forward to in their visit to Leon. And as a message of curtesy Kari Torres added “Welcome to Leon Guanajuato, donde la vida no vale nada.”

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