Wednesday’s first leg of the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals between Sporting Kansas City and Independiente will feature one of Mexico’s top referees in charge.
Liga MX and FIFA veteran Fernando Guerrero will lead an all-Mexican crew alongside assistants Pablo Hernandez, Ibrahim Martinez and fourth official Luis Enrique Santander at Estadio Agustin Sanchez. The 37-year-old, a Liga MX referee since 2010, has served as a FIFA international referee since 2014.
The first-leg battle in La Chorrera, Panama, will kick off at 7 p.m. CT with an English-language live stream on YahooSports.com and the Yahoo Sports app as well as a Spanish telecast on Univision Deportes.
Guerrero has brandished 89 red cards (0.43 per game) and 940 yellow cards (4.52 per game) in 208 career Liga MX fixtures per WorldFootball.net, regularly presiding over some of the biggest club matches in the country. He has officiated in 13 of the last 15 Liga MX championship stage tournaments, most recently calling the first leg of the 2018 Apertura Final between Club America and Cruz Azul.
These averages dip in the 24 international fixtures Guerrero has called for club and country: per WorldReferee.com, he has given a combined 10 red cards and 10 penalties in those matches (0.42 per game) while issuing a total of 62 yellows (2.58 per game).
Guerrero has officiated in three previous editions of the Concacaf Champions League, doing so from 2014-2017. Interestingly enough, he made his tournament and international debut in Sporting Kansas City’s 3-1 group-stage win over Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa at Children’s Mercy Park on Sept. 18, 2014. Guerrero’s lone appearance in Kansas City saw him award Sporting a first-half penalty—converted by Dom Dwyer in the 13th minute—as well as five total yellow cards, one to Sporting and four to the visitors.
The 2015-16 Concacaf Champions League gave Guerrero his biggest international club responsibilities to date. In addition to calling three group-stage matches, he officiated the semifinal first leg between Club America and Santos Laguna and the decisive final second leg between Club America and Tigres UANL—both of which took place at the vaunted Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Guerrero also refereed a group stage game in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa Libertadores, the most prestigious club tournament in South America.
At the international level, Guerrero most recently refereed Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over the United States on Sept. 7, 2018. The last competitive international match he called produced fireworks, as he sent one player off for both teams in Honduras’ 2-1 defeat of Trinidad and Tobago in Concacaf’s Hexagonal round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. Guerrero, who has also officiated qualifiers for the 2016 Copa America Centenario and 2017 Gold Cup, was the head referee for a 2015 Gold Cup group stage affair between Costa Rica and Jamaica.
As demonstrated by his Liga MX track record, Guerrero isn’t shy going to his pocketbook in testy affairs. As recently as Jan. 26, he showed four red cards (including two straight reds) and five yellows in Monterrey’s 3-2 home win over Club America, a high-stakes contest between two of Mexico’s strongest teams.