Sporting Kansas City and Club de Futbol Monterrey will meet in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League semifinals. Sporting will travel to Mexico for the first leg of the aggregate-goal series before hosting the decisive second leg at Children's Mercy Park (tickets on sale now). In the buildup to this continental clash, SportingKC.com is providing updates on the Rayados as part of the site’s Monitoring Monterrey series.
Last week, CF Monterrey's unbeaten start to 2019 - a streak that stretched 13 games from Jan. 5 to March 9 - ended with a 1-0 loss in Atlanta despite dispatching the reigning MLS Cup champions 3-1 on aggregate in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Last night, the Rayados (6-1-4, 3rd place) stumbled to a second straight defeat as the club's unblemished record in the Liga MX Clausura campaign came to an end with a 1-0 loss at Tijuana (6-4-1, 5th place).
Former Chivas USA winger Miller Bolanos delivered the dagger with the game's only goal in the 67th minute to lift the Xolos, led by former Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja, to the home victory at Estadio Caliente.
Monterrey head coach Diego Alonso, a Liga MX champion as both a player (Pumas in 2004) and a manager (Pachuca in 2016), gave 22-year-old Paraguayan striker Adam Bareiro his first start since joining Rayados in December in place of Rogelio Funes Mori, the Sueno MLS 2008 winner whose eight goals are third most in the league this year.
Colombian winger Dorlan Pabon, who led the league with nine assists in the 2018 Apertura, captained the squad, which also featured three players from the 2018 FIFA World Cup: Mexico teammates Jesus Gallardo and Miguel Layun, as well as Argentine midfielder Maximiliano Meza.
Starting XI in 4-2-3-1 formation (R-L): Marcelo Barovero; Miguel Layún, César Montes (Carlos Rodríguez 78’), Nicolás Sánchez, Leonel Vangioni; , Celso Ortíz, Rodolfo Pizarro (Jesús Gallardo 72’); Dorlan Pabón, Maximiliano Meza, Avilés Hurtado; Adam Bareiro (Rogelio Funes Mori 61’)
Subs not used: GK Luis Cardenas, DEF Edson Gutierrez, DEF Johan Vasquez, MF Jonathan Gonzalez
Saturday's result leaves Monterrey third in the Liga MX standings entering the upcoming international break. The Rayados, the top scoring team in the Clausura with 23 goals in 11 matches, will look to snap the team's current 235-minute scoreless streak when they return to the field on March 30 at Estadio BBVA Bancomer to take on a Cruz Azul side that eliminated Monterrey in the Copa MX Final last October and the Apertura semifinals in December.
Monterrey Statistics (2019 Liga MX Clausura)
Record: 6-1-4, 22 points (3-0-3 home, 3-1-1 away)
Table: 3rd in Liga MX
Goals For: 23
Goals Against: 10
|FWD||Rogelio Funes Mori||10||8||8||1|
2019 Schedule and Results
|Jan. 5||vs Pachuca||Liga MX||5-0 Win|
|Jan. 12||vs Leon||Liga MX||2-2 Draw|
|Jan. 19||at Queretaro||Liga MX||2-1 Win|
|Jan. 26||vs Club America||Liga MX||3-2 Win|
|Feb. 3||at Pumas||Liga MX||1-1 Draw|
|Feb. 9||vs Lobos||Liga MX||4-0 Win|
|Feb. 15||at Morelia||Liga MX||3-2 Win|
|Feb. 20||at Alianza||CCL||0-0 Draw|
|Feb. 23||vs Puebla||Liga MX||0-0 Draw|
|Feb. 27||vs Alianza||CCL||1-0 Win|
|March 2||at Chivas||Liga MX||2-0 Win|
|March 6||vs Atlanta||CCL||3-0 Win|
|March 9||vs Tigres||Liga MX||1-1 Draw|
|March 13||at Atlanta||CCL||1-0 Loss|
|March 16||at Tijuana||Liga MX||1-0 Loss|
|March 30||vs Cruz Azul||Liga MX|
|April 2-4||vs Sporting KC||CCL|
|April 7||at Toluca||Liga MX|
|April 9-11||at Sporting KC||CCL|
|April 13||vs Santos Laguna||Liga MX|
|April 19||at Veracruz||Liga MX|
|April 27||vs Necaxa||Liga MX|
|May 3||at Atlas||Liga MX|