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CCL Preview: LAFC hosts Union, Tigres visits Club Leon


The 2023 Concacaf Champions League semifinals conclude this week with four teams fighting to earn the two spot in the tournament final.

Los Angeles FC welcomes the Philadelphia Union to BMO Stadium on Tuesday with both teams deadlocked 1-1 on aggregate. Jim Curtin’s squad thought they were going to take a slim lead to California, but Kellyn Acosta’s stoppage-time equalizer gave the defending MLS Cup winners a major confidence boost returning home.

Both teams were off from MLS play this weekend, providing rest during a busy stretch of matches.

Two Liga MX counterparts meet for the third time in one week as Club Leon hosts Tigres in the second semifinal showdown. Tigres defeated Club Leon 2-1 at home in the first leg before falling 3-0 in Liga MX action over the weekend. Both teams will lay it all on the line to reach the finals against either LAFC or the Union.

Here is a closer look at this week’s Concacaf Champions League action:

LAFC vs. Philadelphia Union

Tuesday, 10 p.m. ET (Teams tied 1-1 on aggregate)

Los Angeles FC welcomes the Philadelphia Union to California this week with BMO Stadium playing host to the third head-to-head meeting in seven months.

Daniel Gazdag and Kellyn Acosta traded goals in last week’s first leg at Subaru Park, one that featured a strong performance from John McCarthy against his former club. McCarthy made four saves and helped LAFC avoid a first leg loss away from home.

After playing the hero against Philadelphia in last season’s MLS Cup Final, McCarthy will hope to stand tall in a do-or-die second leg.

Jim Curtin should have most of his first team squad available for Tuesday’s second leg, but midfielder Jose Martinez is not expected to dress. Martinez suffered a hamstring injury in the first leg which forced him off the field in the 79th minute.

Curtin confirmed Martinez’s status on Monday which could lead to Leon Flach’s inclusion in the starting lineup. Andres Perea is also an option although he hasn’t started for the Union since late-March.

Club Leon vs. Tigres

Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET (Tigres leads 2-1 on aggregate)

Tigres takes a slim 2-1 aggregate lead to Club Leon on Wednesday with the Liga MX squads facing off for the third time in eight days.

Marco Ruiz’s squad edged Club Leon in the CCL first leg last week before suffering a 3-0 league loss at Estadio Leon on Sunday. Francisco Cordova and Luis Quinones both scored on home soil last week and will be expected to lead the attacking chances once again for Tigres.

Club Leon used goals from three different players in Sunday’s Liga MX win over Tigres, as Brian Rubio led the way with one goal and one assist. Jose Alvarado and Hector Guevara also found the back of the net while veteran goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota registered a two-save clean sheet.

Both teams rotated heavy in their league encounter on Sunday, so expect a lot of same starters from last week’s first leg to return to action. Victor Davila and Fidel Ambriz headlined the top performers from the first leg defeat for Club Leon.

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