One of the league's longest-running rivalries resumes Saturday in the Clasico Joven with Cruz Azul taking a quick bus ride to the Estadio Azteca on Saturday.
Next season, both teams could be occupying Estadio Azteca with Cruz Azul set to leave its stadium, but in the Clausura there's no doubt this is an America home match.
While Las Aguilas have been soaring this season, a defeat to Toluca before the international break may have exposed some weaknesses.
Cruz Azul needs to get a result to keep hope of a playoff berth alive.
|Game||America vs. Cruz Azul|
|Date||Saturday, March 31|
|Time||11 p.m. ET|
|Stream (U.S. only)||fuboTV (7-day free trial)|
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SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Club America players|
|Goalkeepers||Marchesin, Pineda, Jimenez|
|Defenders||Vargas, Alvarez, Aguilera, Valdez, Aguilar, Cedillo|
|Midfielders||Rodriguez, Da Silva, Uribe, Dominguez, Corona, Arce, Orrantia, Ibarguen, Paredes, Ibarra, Lainez|
|Forwards||Romero, Menez, Marin, Diaz, Martin, Peralta, Quintero|
Bruno Valdez is suspended after seeing a red card against Toluca. Paul Aguilar returns from suspension, so Edson Alvarez should slide over and play center back.
Potential starting XI: Marchesin; Aguilar, Alvarez, Aguilera, Vargas; Ibarra, Uribe, Rodriguez, Dominguez; Peralta, Martin
|Position||Cruz Azul players|
|Defenders||Roco, Dominguez, Velazquez, Flores, Aldreta, Maduena, J. Silva|
|Midfielders||F. Silva, Salas, Montoya, Rodriguez, Cota, Baca, Pena|
|Forwards||Cauteruccio, Fierro, Mena, Mendez, Zuniga|
Walter Montoya took a knock and also was involved in a disciplinary incident before Cruz Azul's friendly during the international break and will be replaced by Carlos "Gullit" Pena in the starting lineup. Forward Felipe Mora suffered an injury with the Chile national team and is a doubt.
Potential starting XI: Corona; Flores, Roco, Dominguez, Aldrete; Silva, Baca, Mena, Mendez; Pena; Cauteruccio
Miguel Herrera will look on from afar as his Club America side welcomes Cruz Azul for the Clasico Joven on Saturday.
The manager is suspended for a dust-up with Toluca boss Hernan Cristante in a 2-1 loss before the international break, America's first defeat of the tournament.
It hasn't been all smiles this season, despite largely avoiding defeats. America has dropped several points and sits fourth despite just having one defeat.
That's a much better situation than Cruz Azul, which ended a postseason drought last year, only to be eliminated by America after scoring no goals over two legs. Getting back to the playoffs is a dream that seemed dead before a 5-0 win over Pachuca and a draw with fellow Mexico City rival, Pumas, before the international break.
Still, the four-point gap and the four teams that sit between the clubs will be a lot to overcome, especially with striker Felipe Mora injured and Walter Montoya out because of a combination of indiscipline and injury.
That means offseason signing Gullit Pena should get the starting nod. Generating attack won't be easy against America's stingy defense, though the suspension of Bruno Valdez should help.
Whichever side takes the points will be able to continue dreaming, America of a title, Cruz Azul of the playoffs. A defeat could leave the dreams dashed — or at least much more difficult to achieve.