The Seattle Sounders are taking on Pumas UNAM in Leg One of the Concacaf Champions League Final on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. PT; FS1, TUDN, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). Here are three matchups to watch:
Raúl Ruidíaz vs. Nicolás Freire
Ruidíaz is a menace in these types of matches where the lights are the brightest. His nine goals and six assists in 11 career MLS postseason games are as good an indication as any, and he thrives against his former Liga MX competition. Freire will have his hands full, a task that’s exacerbated by the fact that his center back partner Arturo Ortíz is suspended for the first leg. The Sounders will need Ruidíaz, who scored away from home in the semifinals against New York City FC, to come up big again in Mexico City.
Jordan Morris vs. Alan Mozo
It will be a battle of United States and Mexico internationals down the Sounders’ left flank this series, with Morris going toe-to-toe with Mozo. Morris at his best stretches defenses, opening space underneath for Nicolás Lodeiro to pull the strings while also keeping fullbacks honest and having to respect Morris’ speed in behind. The 25-year-old Mozo will need to ensure Morris stays in front of him, or he could be picking the ball out of the back of his own net.
Xavier Arreaga vs. Washington Corozo
Like Freire, Arreaga could potentially be without his usual running mate in central defense as Yeimar continues his recovery from an ankle injury. He returned as a substitute over the weekend, which is a promising sign, but if he’s not fit enough to start then Arreaga will need to once again be a veteran presence alongside young Jackson Ragen. The pair will catch a slight break, though, as Pumas are expected to be without the tournament’s top scorer in Juan Dinenno, who’s bagged seven goals in six matches but is suffering from an injury. Corozo, who is from the same hometown as Arreaga, will be looking to get the better of his countryman.
Concacaf Champions League Final Tickets On Sale Now
The Seattle Sounders are going to the Concacaf Champions League Final for the first time in club history. Come support the team as we take on Liga MX's Pumas UNAM and try to become the first MLS club to win CCL and go to the FIFA Club World Cup!