It’s the biggest club football game in the whole CONCACAF calendar as the two best teams from the confederation play one another over two legs to crown a continental champion. Who will emerge victorious from this glamourous tie, Leon vs LAFC? Here are some of the key talking points.
But first things first, let’s head straight to the match information.
MATCH | Leon vs LAFC
DATE | Wednesday, May 31, 2023
TIME | 7:00 pm PST | 10:00 pm EST
VENUE | Estadio Leon
WHERE TO WATCH | On TUDN USA, Galavision, UniMás, TUDN App, TUDN.com, Univision NOW, and FOX Sports 1 USA
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- CONCACAF Gold Cup
- Mexican Liga MX
- Spanish La Liga
- English FA Cup
- UEFA Super Cup
- Italian Serie A
- German Bundesliga
- French Ligue 1
- And more…
And now, the key talking points.
1. It’s the Club Soccer Version of USA v Mexico
For the second consecutive year, the CONCACAF Champions League final pits an American team against a Mexican team. This is a sign that the Major League Soccer franchises are now truly matching their neighbors for quality. The Seattle Sounders became just the second US team to lift the trophy this millennium, as stateside soccer fans had been waiting since the LA Galaxy won this competition back in 2000.
LAFC must first travel to Estadio Leon in central Mexico for the first leg of this final. The journey will no doubt be an exhausting one but Los Angeles FC has already shown the capability to win far away from home. 3-0 victories against Alajuelense in Costa Rica and Vancouver Whitecaps tested the resolve of the team, and they passed with flying colors.
2. No More Closed Doors
The team previously made the final of the 2020 edition but lost to Tigres UANL despite taking the lead. A lot in the world and at LAFC has changed since that game, however. Firstly, the game won’t be played behind closed doors. Secondly, the roster is very different. Latif Blessing, Diego Rossi, and Kenneth Vermeer have all moved on, as has Bob Bradley. The team has clearly improved since then, winning the MLS Cup in 2022 under Steve Cherundolo.
One of the key components on their way to this final has been Denis Bounanga’s goals. The Gabonese international winger has been electric when called upon, despite having to work within a squad rotation plan within the roster.
3. Leon Aren’t As Familiar With These Streets
Leon are playing in the CONCACAF Champions League final for the first time. That excludes the 1993 edition when the trophy was determined by a final group stage. The team has recently come into good form winning domestic silverware in 2020 and the 2021 Leagues Cup as well.
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4. Watch Out for Leon’s Fantastic Trio
The Mexican’s main offensive outlets come in the shape of a three-pronged attack with Angel Mena and Elias Hernandez on the wings, while Chilean forward Victor Davila is the central striker. This trio has accounted for seven of Leon’s goals so far in the campaign.
5. LAFC Won the Last Duel Between Them
Despite LAFC not having existed for terribly long, these two teams have played one another before. The prior tie came in the Round of 16 phase of the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League competition. Leon got the better on home soil in the opening leg with a 2-0 win, yet LAFC were too much to handle back in California as they won 3-0 at home, securing an aggregate score win.
Could the final follow suit? Either way, one of these teams will leave the BMO Stadium crowned as the 2023 Champions.