Liga MX in Las Vegas: Previewing the Leagues Cup Final

Tonight in Las Vegas, Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL will battle for the inaugural trophy of the Leagues Cup.

After the inaugural tournament began with eight teams, four from each MLS and Liga MX, we’ve arrived at the final with two clubs remaining: Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL. For anyone that doesn’t follow the Mexican top league closely, we take a look at both of the clubs competing for the trophy tonight.

Cruz Azul

23-man roster for tonight’s match:

Goalkeepers: Corona, Allison, Gudino
Defenders: Reyes, J. Dominguez, Lichnovsky, Aldrete, Aguilar, Escobar
Midfielders: Fernandez, Hernandez, M. Dominguez, Yotun, Baca, Alvarado, Pineda, Salas
Forwards: Cauteruccio, Caraglio, Angulo, Mendez, Rodriguez, Gimenez

In 2019, for the first time in their history, the club that plays at the famed Estadio Azteca won the Supercopa MX, a match between the winners of the Apertura and Clausura Copa MX. Pablo Aguilar and Adrian Aldrete help solidify a staunch backline in front of the goalkeeper and captain Jesus Corona. On the opposite end of the pitch, Milton Caraglio, the 30-year-old Argentine striker, is the talisman for Cruz Azul. In 52 matches across all competitions, he has scored 22 goals for the club.

Cruz Azul also have a crew of dangerous creators and skillful dribblers with Yoshimar Yotun, Robert Alvarado, Elias Hernandez, and Orbelin Pineda. After playing well for Orlando City SC, Yoshi has three goals and nine assists in 32 matches for Azul. Alvarado and Hernandez played key roles for La Maquina last season. Pineda is one of the rising stars of Mexican soccer. He played over 100 matches for Chivas before switching to Cruz Azul. They’ve added reinforcements with Juan Escobar and Pol Fernandez.

They defeated two MLS sides on their way to the final, topping Chicago Fire in the opening round before dispatching LA Galaxy in the semi-finals.

Tigres

23-man roster for tonight’s match:

Goalkeepers: Guzman, Fernanez, Ortega
Defenders: Ayala, Torres Nilo, Purata, Diaz, Rodriguez, Mota, Venegas, Tercero, Reyes,
Midfielders: Carioca, Zelarayan, Torres, Pizarro, Aquino, L. Quinones, Damm, Duenas
Forwards: Vargas, Gignac, Valencia

Seven-time champions of Mexico, Tigres UANL will look to add another trophy to their resume tonight. Andre-Pierre Gignac is the obvious star for the club. In nearly 200 matches for Tigres, the French striker has over 100 goals and more than 25 assists.

Veterans Guido Pizarro and Hugo Ayala help solidify the spine of the squad, in the defensive midfield and central defense respectively. Ayala started two matches for El Tri in the 2018 World Cup, including in the Round of 16. Over the weekend, Tigres played to a 1-1 draw vs. Xolos that included a red card for each side.

They arrive in the final after winning their previous two matches by the slimmest of margins. A second-half goal gave them a win over Real Salt Lake in their opening fixture. After finishing level at two vs. Club America, Tigres advanced with a victory on penalty kicks.

Match Information

Leagues Cup Final

Cruz Azul vs. Tigres UANL

7:30 PM Pacific Time

Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada

Author

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.