2024 Champions Cup live updates

2024 Champions Cup live updates
2024 Champions Cup live updates

The Crew are at a place they’ve never been before – the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals.

Following a historic victory over Tigres in the quarterfinals, becoming the first MLS club to defeat a Liga MX club in a series after failing to win its home leg, the Crew are now the last MLS team standing in Champions Cup play.

Hosting the first leg of the semifinal vs CF Monterrey at Lower.com Field, history still isn’t on the Crew’s side if they fail to finish the match ahead in goals. Crew coach Wilfried Nancy feels the game on Wednesday night is important to both the team’s standing in the series and the overall culture.

“To achieve things we need time, and we need to create,” Nancy said. “And this is what they do.”

To continue making club history, Columbus has to get past a Monterrey team that has looked sharp throughout the Champions Cup. In three series, Monterrey has recorded 15 goals. The Crew have scored four across regulation in two series.

A positive going into the match for the Crew is that almost the whole team should be available, minus forward Christian Ramirez and goalkeeper Evan Bush. This is the most complete the roster has been since the beginning of the season, as the Crew have had to deal with injuries, red-card suspensions, self-inflected suspensions and international duty keeping players out for matches.

Follow along for updates from Lower.com Field during the Columbus Crew-CF Monterrey match.

The first leg of the semifinal series between Columbus Crew vs CF Monterrey will take place at Lower.com Field at 8:15 pm Wednesday.

The second leg will take place at Estadio BBVA in Monterrey at 10:15 pm on May 1.

The Crew’s injury report is currently “to be determined.” Here’s who is projected to be unavailable or questionable:

  • Christian Ramirez (thigh injury)
  • Evan Bush (arm injury)

Diego Rossi has recorded the most goals for the Crew in the Champions Cup with two goals in two series.

Bradon Vazquez, who played for CF Cincinnati before signing with Monterrey following the 2023 MLS season, leads his team in goals with four across three series.

The match will be on FS1. Streaming is available via the Fox Sports app. The Spanish broadcast will be on ViX.

The broadcast of the match will be available on 105.7 FM with Chris Doran on the radio call. The Spanish radio broadcast will be available via 102.5 FM La Grande.

The Crew have faced Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions Cup once, back in 2021. Darlington Nagbe, Alex Matan and Evan Bush were the only active Columbus players from that series still with the team. Aidan Morris was with the team, but was out with a season-ending ACL injury.

In the series, Monterrey and Columbus walked away from the first leg at the Historic Crew Stadium tied 2-2. Once the teams met in Monterrey for the second leg, the home team scored 3 goals compared to the Crew’s none to knock them out of the tournament.

After receiving a bye into the Round of 16 due to being MLS Cup champions, the Crew started their CONCACAF Champions Cup journey against Houston Dynamo.

With the first leg taking place on the road March 6, Columbus took a 1-0 aggregate goal advantage when forward Alex Matan scored a last-second goal towards the end of the match. Matan has been sidelined with a thigh injury since that game.

The Crew returned to Lower.com Field on March 12 for the second leg and took an early 1-0 lead over Houston in their second leg match off a Hernandez goal. Holding onto the lead for most of the match, Columbus would allow the Dynamo to score a penalty kick goal to tie the match 1-1, but still advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 on aggregate.

In the first leg of the semifinals, the Crew faced off against Tigres at Lower.com Field on April 3, but before the match could kickoff, the teams had to wait out a two-hour rain delay. Without star striker Cucho Hernandez for the second match in a row, the Crew relied on attacker Diego Rossi to lead Columbus to a 1-1 tie with his first goal of 2024.

At Estadio Universitario in Mexico for the second leg on April 9, the Crew had to score at least one goal to avoid elimination. It was Rossi once again who scored for Columbus, but with striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scoring for Tigres with his second goal of the series as well, the teams finished regulation tied 1-1.

Since the normal tie breaker of road goals was also deadlocked at 1-1, the second leg went into two 15-minute extra time periods. After 120 overall minutes of play and the series still tied 2-2 on aggregate, Columbus and Tigres were forced to go to a penalty shootout.

Crew goalkeeper Patrick Schulte saved Tigres’ first two penalty kicks, and with every player besides Hernandez hitting their attempts for Columbus, the club advanced to its first Champions Cup semifinal. The Crew also made tournament history by becoming the first MLS team to defeat a Liga MX team after failing to win its home leg.

Monterrey started Champions Cup play on a tear, defeating the Comunicaciones of Guatemala 7-1 on aggregate in the opening round.

In the round of 16, Monterrey was faced with the challenge of defeating the Crew’s Hell is Real rival, FC Cincinnati. After holding Cincinnati scoreless in a 1-0 first leg victory at TQL Stadium, Monterrey was led to a second leg 2-1 victory by former Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez to advance to the quarterfinals against Inter Miami.

Despite Miami’s star forward Lionel Messi returning to action in the second leg following a hamstring injury that sidelined him for nearly a month, Monterrey defeated Miami in both legs, finishing with a 5-2 aggregate.

  • 2003: Lost to Atletico Morelia 6-2 aggregate in the quarterfinals
  • 2010: Lost to Toluca Futbol Club 5-4 aggregate in the quarterfinals
  • 2011: Lost to Real Salt Lake 4-1 aggregate in the quarterfinals
  • 2021: Lost to CF Monterrey 5-2 aggregate in the quarterfinals

The Champions Cup is an annual competition run by CONCACAF, the regional governing body in soccer for North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The tournament includes 27 teams from 10 countries.

Each round, up until the final, will include two legs (two games) and the winner will be determined by the aggregate score (the combined number of goals scored by the two teams).

The final will consist of one match, with the winner qualifying for the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup.

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Tags: Champions Cup live updates


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