CF Pachuca & Columbus Crew clash for first time in CONCACAF Champions League final!

CF Pachuca welcomes Columbus Crew in the final of the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup on Saturday at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico.

The first meeting between the two clubs will be in the most important game of the tournament. The winner will lift the trophy to earn the title of CONCACAF’s club champion and secure a spot in the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup.

A five-time winner, Pachuca is aiming for a historic sixth title, while Columbus Crew is vying for its first championship. Both teams have maintained an undefeated record in the 2024 edition, setting the stage for a battle of unbeatens.

The Tuzos feature two of the tournament’s best offensive players: Golden Boot leader Salomon Rondon and co-assist leader Oussama Idrissi. A trio of 24-year-olds, Erick Sanchez, Nelson Deossa, and Pedro Pedraza, make up the midfield. Andres Micolta has been a revelation in defense, along with Liga MX veterans Gustavo Cabral and Luis Rodriguez.

Renowned for its development of young players, Pachuca’s run to the final has seen key contributions from rising talent like Alan Bautista, Bryan Gonzalez, Alexei Dominguez, and Emilio Rodriguez, all 21 or younger. Carlos Moreno, 26, has also been an important piece as one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament.

Columbus Crew crowned itself the MLS champion last December and aims to win a second major trophy in six months. Midfielder Darlington Nagbe will captain a team with plenty of offensive power of its own in forwards Juan Camilo Hernandez, Diego Rossi, and Christian Ramirez. Its defensive line will also be challenging, with veterans Rudy Camacho, Steven Moreira, and homegrown Sean Zawadzki anchoring the backline.

The Crew have a youth movement of their own, with Aidan Morris in midfield and attackers Marino Hinestroza and Jacen Russell-Rowe, all 22 or younger. Patrick Schulte, 23, has also been key with important saves, most notably in the defining games played in Mexico during the quarterfinal and semifinal stages.

This encounter will also feature two of the best strategists in the region in Uruguayan manager Guillermo Almada, who was named the 2022-23 Liga MX Coach of the Year, and Frenchman Wilfried Nancy, a back-to-back MLS Coach of the Year finalist.

Pachuca will look to maintain a streak of 30 CCC home matches without a loss. It has won each of its previous trips to the finals. This will be the 90th final match in the history of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

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