Since 2009, only four MLS teams have reached the final of the Concacaf Champions League. None have lifted the trophy that has been dominated by Liga MX. But, as New York City FC host the Seattle Sounders (in Harrison, New Jersey), and try to overcome a two goal deficit from a 3-1 defeat in the first leg, it is certain that a fifth team will have that chance. The winner of this tie faces Pumas UNAM in the final.
The Seattle Sounders have flexed their depth during the competition scoring 12 goals while only allowing two. Fredy Montero, Jordan Morris, and Nicolas Lodeiro have all scored multiple goals in the Champions League and now the team only getting stronger as Raul Ruidiaz is back in the fold. Albert Rusnak opened his scoring account for the Sounders in the first leg coming from deep to cap off a great team goal.
Both sides will be good representatives for the league in it’s strongest chance to win Champions League for the first time. Pumas UNAM are tenth in Liga MX and while they should be taken seriously, they don’t offer the same danger as powerhouses like Tigres, Club America, or even the Cruz Azul side that they defeated to get to the final.
Seattle has the inside track due to their two goal advantage but with the reigning golden boot winner Taty Castellanos and Talles Magno coming into his own, NYCFC will create enough chances to get back into this. This match will likely come down to whether they can defend against Seattle which is something they failed to do on the road in the first leg.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, Apr. 13 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Red Bull Arena — Harrison, New Jersey
- TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: New York City -140; Draw +250; Seattle Sounders +330 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
New York City: Ronny Deila has tough decisions to make without Maxi Moralez and Maxime Chanot missing the match. Moralez has been out since last week with bruised ribs while Chanot is still not fit to come back into the lineup for Thiago Martins. Martins was susceptible to errors in the first leg while Moralez is critical to the attack ticking over and both missing the match will make this comeback a tough one.
Seattle Sounders: The Sounders have close to a clean bill of health as Yeimar Gomez will miss the match due to injury but they’ll also get Nouhou Tolo back into the fold after he missed the first leg due to yellow card accumulation. With a full complement of attackers available to him, Brian Schmetzer can mix and match throughout the game to ensure that New York isn’t able to get comfortable on the night, hopefully securing a trip to the Champions League final.
The Sounders have too much in their locker to be stopped, even without them needing to pick up a win, they’ll pull apart NYCFC’s defense as they’re missing key players. Pick: NYCFC 1, Seattle 2