The 2016 Liga MX final is set with Tigres and Club America set to face-off in the 2-leg final and momentum and excitement is building. But the Mexican Apertura season ending showpiece has been delayed.
Why is the Liga MX being delayed?
The 19-day delay in starting the final is due to Club America’s participation in the FIFA Club World Cup. Las Aguilas won the 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League title and are the regions representative at the annual tournament between regional club winners (eg Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League winner).
When will the Liga MX Final be played?
The Liga MX final will be played on Thursday, December 22 at Estadio Azteca and Sunday, December 25 at Estadio Universitario. The game was originally scheduled to be played on Thursday, Dec 8 and Sunday, Dec 11.
Won’t the 2nd Leg Dampen the Christmas spirit?
The Christmas final may work out well for the Liga MX. Many families in Mexico celebrate the holiday on the evening of December 24 after holiday services leading up to midnight leaving the following day open for relaxing or even better watching a soccer match. And while it is the league’s ‘super bowl’ it is not much different from the NFL playing games on Thanksgiving or NBA taking to the court on Christmas.
Who has the advantage?
It is hard to say. Tigres will have a 19-day break from playing a competitive match but revenge could keep them motivated. Tigres lost a chance to represent the region at the Club World Cup by losing to America in the 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League final.
Club America probably is not jumping for joy either. The side could return for the final on tired legs. They open their Club World Cup campaign against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea Republic on December 11 and IF they win they advance to the semifinal against Real Madrid on Dec 15. They will then play the final or third place match which takes place in Yokohama on December 18. Then the team will have to negotiate flying home and all that is entailed with international travel. (Editor’s Note: More on the America’s Club World Cup below)
Club America will have the additional pressure of wanting to cap off their centennial celebration with a title.
Can I watch the 2016 Liga MX final on TV in the US?
Yes but it may take some searching on your cable package. The games will be aired on Univision which is included in most cable sports packages. Even for non-spanish speaking viewers the excitement will be evident and after a few minutes watching you will have picked up some key soccer phrases.
Who should I watch for?
Ricardo La Volpe – America’s coach deserves some credit for getting his team to the final. He took over with the team struggling on September 16 when few pundits would have picked them to make it to the final. Known as ‘Bigoton’ (big moustache) he is larger than life character accustomed to the big time. He coached Mexico at the 2006 FIFA World Cup final.
Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferretti – Fans of the US men’s national team will shudder hearing the name Ferretti. The Brazilian born manager was the interim manager of the Mexico national team when El Tri beat the Stars and Stripes in the 2015 CONCACAF Cup (the first or was it 2nd nail in Jurgen Klinsmann’s coffin?).
William – The midfielder has become the talisman for La Volpe taking on the needed role whether a defensive minded or creative midfielder to get the job done.
Andre Gignac – The French international has paced Tigres this playoff. He scored in both semifinal legs and put in a hat trick in Tigres’ 5-0 second leg win over UNAM.
Oribe Peralta – The Mexican international has been known to give fits to the USMNT with his lethal finishing and will no doubt play the same role against Tigres.
Jose Francisco Torres – And keep your eyes open for the US international. Torres could play a role as a second half substitute for Tigres. He has played with the club since 2013.
Club America took care of business defeating Jeonbuk in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup. The followed that with a 0-2 loss to Real Madrid, the eventual champion of the tournament. They settled for a 4th place finish after losing to Atletico Nacional 2-4 in penalties after the 3rd place match ended 2-2.