MLS might no longer have a rooting interest in the CONCACAF Champions League, but that doesn't mean U.S. Soccer fans don't have a reason to pay close attention to what transpires in Mexico over the next week.
Monterrey and Santos Laguna kick off their CCL final with the first leg Wednesday night at Estadio Tecnologico (10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel/Telefutura), with Los Rayados trying to repeat as champions and Herculez Gomez & Co. looking for their first regional title.
For the in-form Gomez, he'll be looking to head to the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time, after doing so with Pachuca in 2010. Gomez' scoring streak remains at eight games (with 11 goals in that time), as he has sat out the club's last two matches with minor injury woes, but he is reportedly set to return for the final. (Read more about Gomez and his quest for the CCL crown in Fox Soccer's preview of the series).
Considering the overall firepower that both teams boast, the third all-Mexican CCL final in four years has the potential to be an epic series. Monterrey and Santos lead the Mexican Clausura with 28 and 27 goals through 15 games, respectively, and both have an arsenal of attacking talent.
For Monterrey, it starts with Chilean Humberto Suazo, but he's far from the only capable scorer. Mexican internationals Aldo de Nigris and Angel Reyna and Argentine veteran Cesar Delgado complement Suazo, who broke Real Salt Lake's heart with a goal at Rio Tinto Stadium in the second leg of last year's intense final.
For Santos Laguna, Gomez is joined by Oribe Peralta, Cristian Suarez and Darwin Quintero, a group that gave the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC all they could handle in the knockout rounds and has combined for 21 goals in this season's CCL competition.
Do you think Gomez will keep his scoring streak going tonight? Which team do you think will win the CCL title?
Share your thoughts below.