CONCACAF Champions Cup
This year's CONCACAF Champions Cup final will take place on June 2 and, unlike other editions, it will be a single-legged final

SEATTLE - The two finalists for this year's CONCACAF Champions Cup will be decided this week. América, Pachuca, Monterrey and Columbus Crew are the last teams standing, but only one of them will be able to lift the trophy and earn a spot in next year's FIFA Club World Cup.

In case Monterrey wins the trophy, the spot would be redistributed to the next eligible team in CONCACAF's four-year ranking thanks to 'Rayados' having already secured their spot in the revamped tournament after their CCL title in 2021. Due to FIFA's restriction of two clubs per association, clubs from Mexico cannot qualify via the four-year ranking, therefore, that spot would go to an MLS team.

The first tie to be resolved will be the all-Mexican tie between Pachuca and América, who tied 1-1 in the first leg at Estadio Azteca. Two of the most historic teams in the competition, América and Pachuca have won a combined 12 CONCACAF titles but oddly enough, this is the first time both sides meet in the competition.

Despite being the best team in Liga MX this season, América has struggled on the road, with three of their four defeats in 2024 coming away from home, one against Pachuca in February that snapped their 22-game unbeaten streak in Liga MX play.

Pachuca, led by Uruguayan coach Guillermo Almada, is looking for its first continental final since 2017. Pachuca, alongside Monterrey, are the only two teams with a perfect record in CCL/CCC finals, winning all five of their appearances.

Pachuca will have to play the second leg against América 50 hours before they kick off their play-in game against Pumas on May 2. The 'Tuzos' finished the regular season as the second-best offense in Liga MX, scoring 34 goals. But Pachuca's home record hasn't been the same since defeating the 'Águilas' at Estadio Hidalgo, winning just one of their last five Liga MX games at home (1-3-1 W-L-D).

América 1-1 Pachuca, first-leg highlights

Monterrey and Columbus Crew will decide their tie a day later, with the Crew taking a 2-1 advantage down South. If they want to advance to the final, they will have to do something not a lot of MLS teams have done over the years: win an away game in Mexico. Luckily for Columbus, they have previous experience in such games, after they eliminated Monterrey's archrival Tigres in the previous round.

The last time Columbus faced Monterrey in this competition was three years ago, when 'Rayados' ended up eliminating the Crew en-route to their fifth CCL title. In their previous five visits to Mexico, Columbus Crew has lost four and tied one (eliminated Tigres on penalties).

In case Columbus Crew can hold on to their lead, it would mean that, for a third straight year, Liga MX and MLS teams face each other in the final. The only MLS team in the last 24 years to win the competition was the Seattle Sounders, who won the title in 2022 against Pumas.

Columbus Crew 2-1 Monterrey, first-leg highlights

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