ATLANTA — Atlanta United and Club America will face off in the second annual Campeones Cup Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The tournament is a single game, where the current MLS Champion faces the current champion of Liga MX, Mexico’s highest tier in professional soccer. Last year, Tigres defeated Toronto 3-1 in the first edition of the tournament. Here is a preview of each team heading into the match:
For the Five Stripes, the team will seek its first trophy of 2019 when it’ll face the historic Club America. Atlanta is coming off three straight wins, including a semifinal win against Orlando in the U.S. Open Cup, a tournament where they could also win another trophy on August 26.
After a slow start to the season, Atlanta is finding its best form yet and they currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points, just three behind leader Philadelphia Union.
In United’s short history, the team has one win against another Mexico club, Monterrey, a match they won 1-0 back in March for the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
“This squad was better than Monterrey last season, which means we have to be even better than we were at the beginning of the season,” Atlanta United manager Frank De Boer said during a Tuesday morning press conference. “It’s a title. I want it. I feel in the group that they want to go for it.”
This will be the third time that Club America, a team founded in 1916, will play a soccer match in the city of Atlanta and the first since 2010. The first two times, the Mexican club defeated Italy’s A.C. Milan 2-1 in 2009 in front of over 50 thousand fans. One year later, the team faced off against England’s Manchester City, a match that the Eagles lost 5-4 in a penalty shootout.
But both of those matches were played in the now-demolished Georgia Dome, a venue that Club America manager Miguel Herrera also visited in 2015, when Mexico defeated Panama in the 2015 Gold Cup.
“Atlanta is a great city. This is without a doubt the best stadium in the world,” Herrera said when asked about his first visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
For the Eagles, the team defeated Toluca 1-0 in its Sunday match in their domestic league and with the tournament in the early stages, America currently hold three wins and one loss.
“The tournament (Campeones Cup) is just starting but we are bringing our best players and taking it with the most seriousness possible,” Herrera said. “It’s important to win every trophy possible.”