Just read through all 15 pages of this, what a read! Nice to read a career based in America as well. It's a league I've always wanted to play in but I've constantly put it off because I reckon it'd be too hard trying to figure the rules out! At least it was when I last tried one a couple of years back! Looking forward to keeping up with this more regularly now.
CONCACAF Champions League Coverage
JC: Welcome to the Live coverage of the CONCACAF Champions League first leg tie between Club América and FC Cincinnati, I am Jon Champion, joined today by Taylor Twellman. Welcome Taylor.
TT: Good evening Jon, I am very excited to see tonight's game, it should be a fascinating contest between two sides who have played some excellent soccer to get here.
JC: They have indeed. Let’s take a look at the run each side has made to get to this final this year.
TT: Club América have had a relatively tight run through the CONCACAF Champions League, failing to dominate in any of their matches. The most emphatic victory for América coming away to MLS Champions Los Angeles FC, winning 2-0 away from home.
JC: That game saw Roger Martinez open the scoring, a man that has stood out for Club América this season. Is he the man to stop for Cincinnati to have any success over this tie Taylor?
TT: I believe so, the Columbian International has 18 goals to his name this season in all competitions, playing 40 games. He is a very important player to this side but Cincinnati will also have to focus on Iván Gómez. Gómez signed for Club América at the start of the season for $3,500,000 signing from Argentine side Estudiantes. He has been a rock in the midfield as well as being a creative force, adding four goals and five assists in his 39 games in all competitions.
JC: Certainly some very good players in that side, who Cincy will have to focus on. But let's now take a look at FC Cincinnati’s run.
TT: It’s been incredible hasn’t it Jon. A side that only last year became an MLS Franchise and now they are in the CONCACAF Champions League Final. They had a great start beating San Francisco 8-1 on aggregate, then impressed with a much improved second leg against Vancouver Whitecaps, following a disappointing first leg. The semi-final was incredible matchup between two sides who fought tooth and nail for the win, eventually Cincy managed to go through on penalties.
JC: In terms of Cincinnati, who are the key players for them?
TT: For me they have a few, Julian Gressel, Joe Aribo, Alvas Powell and Leonardo Bertone. Gressel and Aribo were outstanding last season scoring 16 goals between them last year and a further four this year. However, Joe Aribo will only be available next week having got injured in the semi-final against CF Pachuca. Alvas Powell has also started the year of incredibly well as well as Leonardo Bertone. Both men will be very important to a positive Cincy result.
JC: With that the teams are in.
JC: Teams we were expecting there then, Taylor, no real surprises.
TT: Nope, no surprises there, both teams have favoured their respective formations over the last few CONCACAF Champions League games, with Cincinnati first reverting to their 5-1-1-2-1 formation in their win over CF Pachuca in the semi-final.
JC: What’s going to be the key battle today then Taylor?
TT: Both sides have opted to go for at least one defensive midfielder, with Club América implementing two, with Cincy have an extra center back. For me that is going to be key for both teams, it will make each side a little harder to break down. It is a shame that Iván Gómez will be missing from leg one as he is still suspended but we should see him next week, making life even harder for Cincy.
JC: Can we get a score prediction?
TT: As I said, it is going to be tough to break either side down. As much as I would like to back the American team, I think the home crowd will play a part and it will be a 2-0 Club América win.
JC: With that prediction the players are making their way out onto the field and in just a few moments time we will kick off.
TT: I am very excited for what we are about to witness.
(1’) JC: The referees whistle has blown, and we have kick-off in this First Leg of Club América vs FC Cincinnati, CONCACAF Champions League Final.
(16’) JC: Neither side has created much as of so far but here is Cabrera on the wing. He finds Aguilar, Ferreira, now Rodríguez. This is some nice movement from América. Rodríguez moves it on to Castillo who plays it back with a lovely one-two. It’s back to Cabrera, who strikes. OH so close! Cabrera hits the post from the edge of the box.
TT: A great move from Club América, it deserved a goal in all honesty. I said at the start of the game, it will be tough to break either side down, that’s the sort of move that will be needed.
(32’) JC: Guerra is on the ball here, he spreads a lovely ball across the pitch, switching the play to Emanuel Aguilar. The left back is in loads of space, he passes it back inside to Martínez, who plays Aguilar back. The ball is cut back, FERREIRA GOOOOAL! 1-0 Club América!
TT: Superb once again from América. The ball to start the move from Guerra is sublime and then the movement from Aguilar before playing the perfect pullback cross to Ferreira on the edge of the box is great. Ferreira doesn’t even take a touch to control the ball and smashes it into the far corner. Great goal, 1-0!
(37’) JC: Cabrera’s cross into a dangerous area there looking to find Castillo, but the ball is cleared. OH MY WORD what a strike! Waston headed the ball clear only to find Rodríguez who has hit an absolute peach there.
TT: We have witnessed another remarkable goal here. What a hit from Rodríguez. Waston had done well to win the header and get it out of the danger zone, only to find Guido Rodríguez, someone not commonly associated with goal scoring, but he has struck the ball so cleanly sending it flying past Tyton. 2-0!
(38’) JC: Well things haven’t gone to plan for FC Cincinnati so far, as Nervo stands over this freekick, it isn’t like they have been dominated, but América have really taken their chances. Ferreira, the opening scorer has found Aguilar on the right here. The captain gets a cross in. Oh no! A shocking mistake from Alvas Powell has seen Martínez a clear opportunity and he doesn’t need asking twice. 3-0!!
TT: Wow! In the space of five minutes we have seen a game that had created very few chances, to one with three goals. Unfortunately for Cincinnati fans, all three goals are for Club América. The ball has come in and in all honesty that is shocking from Alvas Powell. He has completely mistimed the header and let key man Martínez a gift of a goal. It’s a long way back from here now for Cincy.
(45’) JC: Half-time here as Club América lead FC Cincinnati 3-0. What do Cincy have to do to get back into this tie now Taylor.
TT: It’s hard to say Jon, they haven’t been outclassed outplayed, the stats show the possession is 50-50 and the number of attempts haven’t been to different either. América have done incredibly well in being clinical and it is truly a long road back for Cincy now even though there is 135 minutes of soccer still to be played.
JC: Jimmy Medranda has come on for Greg Garza for FC Cincinnati and the second half has begun.
(71’) JC: This second half has seen very limited action with Club América seemingly happy to sit back and hold on to their three goal lead. But here is a rare counter from the Mexican side. Roger Martínez is racing down the wing.
TT: Roger has been incredible today, capping it off with his goal. Hopefully it is just a precaution and we see him in next week's second leg.
(93’) JC: We are coming to a close here, but we have time for one more chance as Rasmus Schüller stands over this wide freekick. He whips it in but it is cleared. It falls to Jimmy Medranda who plays it back out to Schüller. A second chance for a ball in. OOO Brian Black has to score there!
TT: That sums up Cincinnati’s day Jon. They haven’t been outclassed but they just haven’t taken their chances. Black really needs to head home from six yards out.
JC: That will be the final kick of the game! Club América 3-0 FC Cincinnati. We will see you once again next week, but for now from me Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman, goodnight.
Syb:It has been an incredible run to the final, just a shame how leg one has gone!
Scott:It has been a brilliant run for King and the team, getting to the Champions League let alone the final is an achievement enough. The first leg has been a disappointment, especially since we weren't dominated apart from five minuets of the game. Hopefully we can pull of a second leg miracle.
Chris:Thank you for taking the time to do that, means a lot and I am glad you have enjoyed what you read so far. The rules are certainly confusing to start but I am understanding them more and more through playing so don't let it put you off too much! It has been a very enjoyable save so far and hopefully it continues to be so.