How they did last season
The Mexican team had a fantastic 2014/15 season. Not only did they win the CONCACAF (North American) Champions League but they also won a league title too.
Their league, the Liga MX, is split into two tournaments each season; in both tournaments all teams play each other once then the top 8 go on to a knockout stage. The first tournament is the Apertura and the second is the Clausura.
Club America came top of the Apertura and then won the knockout stage. They followed this by coming second in Clausura and went out in the quarter finals. This earned them qualification to the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage next season. This is very important as the winner of their Champions League doesn’t get automatic qualification to the tournament next year.
Their biggest asset is their strike force. The duo of Oribe Peralta and Dario Benedetto were unstoppable in front of goal last season. Prealta netted 22 times and was just out done by his team mate Benedetto who scored 23, including a hat trick in the second leg of the Champions League Final.
They play a 4-4-2 formation and tend to enforce a lot of wing play when on the attack. They are armed with Colombian Carlos Quintero on the right and Argentinian Rubens Sambueza on the left, both are great dribblers, passers and crossers of the ball.
Club America’s defence isn’t too much to write home about, they’re solid enough to cope in their national league, backed up by a decent keeper but overall, the team is carried by its offensive capabilities. That being said, centre back Pablo Aguilar is a tough customer. He racked up 16 yellow cards and 3 red cards last season.
Hopefully, Club America youth graduate, Martin Zuniga will get a run out. He’s a very talented young striker who has all the attributes needed for a good striker. He could well be one to watch if he can meet his potential.
Facing Club America, even though it’s only a friendly, will be a great test for, what many would consider to be the weakest area of the team, the defence. With hot shot strikers coming off of a goal frenzy season, the United centre backs will need to bring their A-game to keep them at bay.
It will also be a good way for Red Devil fans to see what new signing Darmian can do. With the Mexican side setting up their goals primarily from the wings, the new Right Back for United will have a busy game.
It’s only a preseason friendly so only the boss will have an idea by now of who will play and for how long. With the team having plenty of depth competition for a first team spot is fierce so they should all be out to impress. United really should pull away with a satisfactory victory but Club America are very good on the attack. Given the overall quality the two teams and the fact that it’s only a friendly, I’m thinking 3-1, United win, and with his aerial ability and height advantage I fancy Smalling to get one of the goals.