Atlanta United returns to Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League action Wednesday, as it faces Liga MX side C.F. Monterrey at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 8 p.m. EST and will be televised on Yahoo Sports and Univision Deportes.
Atlanta is coming off a 1-1 draw with FC Cincinnati on Sunday in the club’s MLS home opener, with Josef Martinez scoring his 55th goal in 61 regular and post-season MLS appearances. After advancing past Costa Rican side CS Herediano in the Round of 16, Atlanta traveled to Monterrey and lost the first leg of the quarterfinal 3-0. A first-half penalty kick from Nicolás Sánchez and two goals in the 80th and 84th from Dorlan Pabón and Jesus Gallardo gave Rayados a three-goal advantage heading into the second leg at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta is 3-0 all-time in two-legged series with 2018 MLS Cup playoff wins against NYCFC and New York Red Bulls and its 2019 SCCL matchup with CS Herediano.
Monterrey currently sits in second place (6-0-4, 22 points) in Liga MX, and the team’s 10-match unbeaten streak is the longest current streak in the league. On Saturday, Rayados and Tigres drew 1-1 in the Monterrey Clasico, with Monterrey forward Rogelio Funes Mori scoring his team-leading eighth goal of the league campaign. Rayados have won the SCCL three times (2011, 2012, 2013) and are 7-1-1 in their last nine meetings with MLS clubs in the tournament.
Frank de Boer:
On how to turn around the team’s form by Wednesday
“You analyze what happened, talk to players, talk to the team, and then come to a conclusion. That’s how it goes when things aren’t going well and right now we have to improve but we don’t have to be that dramatic about it. Of course, we want to win every game but we just started the season, a very tough start, I think six games in 20 days. Usually, you play every Sunday and then find the rhythm to play every three-four days. But we really started directly against good opponents, especially Monterrey and playing away. I think you can lose there, it’s a little bit unlucky that we conceded two goals in the last nine minutes.”
On what the team conversations have been like
“We always want the best for everybody. You have to get how the team feels. We didn’t get too many numbers into the box, we didn’t create too many chances. The players also have that feeling. But you have to talk about why is that. You ask why questions and show images, how did we create chances? And you will see it will open up.”
On if you change anything heading into a second leg down 3-0
“No, because we are still in the process to grow as a team. Also physically, but especially right now to get the system that we want to play as a team. And every game can help you with that, to take one or two steps forward. For me, it’s important that we show good quality tomorrow.”
Wednesday, March 13 | Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA |8 p.m. (EST)
Atlanta United (U.S.) vs. C.F. Monterrey (Mexico)
TV: Yahoo Sports app and Yahoo.sports.com (English) & Univision Deportes (Spanish)
Local Radio: Star 94.1
Talent: Mike Conti (play-by-play) and Jason Longshore (analyst)