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CCL Preview: LAFC visits Whitecaps, Union host Atlas, and more


Only eight teams remain in this year’s Concacaf Champions League with three of Major League Soccer’s representatives hoping to advance to the final four of the competition.

Two of those three MLS clubs will meet on Wednesday night as the Vancouver Whitecaps host Los Angeles FC at BC Place (Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET). Vanni Sartini’s squad are riding high after rolling past Canadian rivals CF Montreal 5-0 to earn their first victory of the 2023 MLS campaign.

Simon Becher led the way with two goals and one assist while Julian Gressel, Ali Ahmed, and Brian White also celebrated goals of their own. Japanese international Yohei Takaoka registered his first-career MLS clean sheet in the process and will need to be ready for LAFC’s dynamic attacking front.

LAFC has only won one of its last three league matches ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Vancouver, failing to score in draws against the Seattle Sounders and the Colorado Rapids. Denis Bouanga scored a hat trick in the last round against Costa Rican clubs LD Alajuelense and has been LAFC’s main man so far in 2023.

Philadelphia Union vs. Atlas

Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET

The Philadelphia Union have struggled in MLS play over recent weeks but will try to get back on track in CCL play against Liga MX visitors Atlas on Tuesday.

Jim Curtin’s squad have failed to win their last three league matches, losing to CF Montreal and Orlando City, and failing to score in a goal-less draw with Sporting KC. Despite rolling past El Salvadoran side Alianza in March, the Union haven’t shown the dominant home form in 2023 that they have over the past two seasons.

Mikael Uhre, Julian Carranza, and Daniel Gazdag have seven goals combined in all competitions and will be the leading attackers for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Liga MX side Atlas has started to find its groove in recent matches, defeating CD Olimpia and Pubela, before tying Chivas de Guadalajara 3-3 over the weekend. A major reason for their recent success is Julian Quinones, who has five goals scored in his last three appearances.

The 26-year-old Colombian will be joined by Mexican international Jonathan Herrera and Uruguay forward Brian Lozano against the Union’s stingy defense.

Here are the rest of this week’s CCL matches:

Club Leon (MEX) vs. Violette AC (HAI) – Tuesday, 10 p.m. ET

CD Motagua (HON) vs. Tigres (MEX) – Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET

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