Preview | Revs visit Estadio Azteca trailing América 4-0 on aggregate in Champions Cup Quarterfinals


Concacaf Champions Cup | Quarterfinals | Leg 2
New England Revolution at Club América
Club América lead 4-0 on aggregate
Tuesday, April 9 | 10:30 p.m. ET
Estadio Azteca | Mexico City, Mexico

Watch: FS1 (English), TUDN (Spanish)
Listen: 1260 AM Nossa Radio (Portuguese)


New England Revolution
15th in MLS Eastern Conference (1-4-1, 4 pts.)
Last Result (MLS) | 1-0 win vs. Charlotte FC
Last Result (CCC) | 4-0 loss vs. Club América

Carles Gil was once again the catalyst for New England this past Saturday night as the Revs captain scored his team-leading third goal of the regular season to lift his side to a 1-0 win over Charlotte FC. Gil buried the rebound of his brother Nacho’s shot in first-half stoppage time to provide the difference, while goalkeeper Henrich Ravas kept his first MLS clean sheet – and his fourth in all competitions – to guide the Revs to their first victory of the league campaign.

Revolution head coach Caleb Porter said postgame that he’ll now deploy “a completely different group” on Tuesday night at Azteca as the Revs aim to overcome a 4-0 deficit from the first leg in Foxborough, while at the same time keeping an eye on the league and a Saturday night visit to New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.

Club América
2nd in Liga MX Clausura (8-1-5, 29 pts.)
Last Result (Liga MX) | 1-1 draw at Santos Laguna
Last Result (CCC) | 4-0 win at New England Revolution

Comfortable winners in the most recent Apertura campaign, Club América now find themselves neck and neck for the Clausura title with just three games remaining. Las Águilas picked up a 1-1 draw this past weekend against Santos Laguna while fellow title challenger Monterrey fell, 2-1, to Cruz Azul, but it was Toluca who climbed past both to the top of the table (on goal difference) with a 4-1 victory over Atlas.

América also remain one of the favorites in Concacaf Champions Cup, as their 4-0 win in the first leg of this series has them on the verge of a spot in the semifinals, where they’d be likely to face fellow Liga MX side Pachuca, who ran out 5-0 winners over Costa Rican side Herediano in the first leg of their series.


Revolution midfielder Esmir Bajraktarević
It’s difficult to predict exactly what the Revolution XI will look like on Tuesday night with Porter indicating there will be heavy rotation, but there’s likely to be a role for 19-year-old attacker Esmir Bajraktarević. Trailing 4-0 on aggregate and needing plenty of goals to chase the series, New England will need confident, creative players, and Bajraktarević unquestionably fits the bill.

Bajraktarević has been one of the Revolution’s most valuable attacking players in Champions Cup, registering one goal and two assists while appearing in each of the five previous games. He’ll also be comfortable on the international stage, having just last month featured for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team in a pair of friendlies in Spain and France.

América midfielder Alejandro Zendejas
With a 4-0 aggregate lead in this series and focus also required on the title race in Liga MX, it’s quite possible that América head coach André Jardine will also rotate his squad for Tuesday night’s showdown at Azteca. Still, Alejandro Zendejas is always one to watch as the 26-year-old has emerged as a key piece for Las Águilas since arriving from Necaxa in January 2022.

Zendejas, who began his professional career as a Homegrown Player with FC Dallas in 2015, has made seven appearances with the U.S. Men’s National Team, registering one goal. He’s been in fine form of late, scoring América’s second goal in last week’s win at Gillette Stadium and their only tally in this past weekend’s 1-1 draw at Santos Laguna.


Revolution head coach Caleb Porter on the strategy heading into the second leg:
“Yeah, so to start, it's clear we've put a lot into this tournament, and you see that with our results in our league. It wasn't ideal, the result that we had in the first game [last Tuesday] and it was not the way we wanted it to go. Club América is a very good team, and they were the much better team in the first leg. That was disappointing for myself and the team. Realistically, our chances of advancing are slim. We're not naive. To be able to come here and play against the quality of team that we're facing in an environment like this down 4-0, that's a long shot for us to advance. So, we understand that. At the same time, we want to end the tournament, at a minimum, with some respect, and we're going to put out a team that hopefully will, at a minimum, do that.”

Porter on the best-case scenario for Tuesday’s match:
“Again, we're going to put out a team that hopefully will earn some respect back based on the first leg. We're not naive. It's going to be very difficult for us to advance in this tournament. But I want our players to leave the pitch tomorrow with their heads high, and the only way you do that is to perform better than we did in the first leg, and that's all we're focused on. We got our first win in the league this weekend, that's two games in a row where we got a draw and a win. So, we're starting to get our form back in the league. The priority early in the year was this tournament, and I think you saw in our performances, in our energy, and in our approach that that was the case. But the league [results] suffered and we were willing to sacrifice that a bit to throw ourselves into this tournament. Now, that priority changes a bit, which is why we went with a very strong group in the league, and we will rotate. We've got a deep roster, we will rotate in this game, but you'll see it's still a strong group. But we do need to make sure that we also have energy for our next league game, which is Saturday at New York City.”

Porter on only three MLS teams remaining in the tournament:
“It is what it is. It is what it is. Yeah, there's still a few MLS teams that I think have a better chance than us - that's the reality. So, we'll see how the second legs go with the other teams. We face Club América, and for me, they're the best team and we knew it was going to be very difficult. And you saw that in the first game. They were very clinical. I think it was 13-9 in shots actually, but they punished us for every mistake we made. It was humbling, and I think our guys learned a lot from it. It wasn't fun, wasn't nice, and we had to take a hard look at ourselves after that game and I think you saw in the league we responded well after the game.”