The unbridled passion and loyalty of Liga MX will be on full display when MNUFC hosts Atlas FC in an international friendly at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Unfamiliar with MLS’ neighbor league just south of the border? ¡Aquí les dejamos toda la información que necesitan saber previo al emocionante amistoso! Here is everything you need to know!
Name: Atlas Fútbol Club
- Los Rojinegros (The Red-and-Blacks)
- La Academia (The Academy)
- Los Zorros (The Foxes)
- La Furia (The Fury)
Biggest rivals: Chivas, whom Atlas beat 2-0 on July 5 in a preseason friendly at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas.
History and titles won:
Founded on August 15, 1916, Atlas has been a proud force in the Mexican game for over a century. Though the club has won just one Liga MX trophy (1951) – plus four Copa MX and four Campeón de Campeones titles – it’s been hugely influential in developing some of the Mexico national team’s top talent over the years. Rafael Márquez – you know, the El Tri international with the most World Cup appearances for his country (16), Atlas’ current captain and a former New York Red Bulls and Barcelona defender – is just one name in a long list that includes Andrés Guardado, Jorge Torres Nilo, Hugo Ayala, José de Jesús Corona, Jared Borgetti, Oswaldo Sánchez and Pável Pardo.
Last season at a glance:
Atlas recorded seven wins, five draws and five losses over the course of the 2017 Clausura regular season (the Liga MX calendar is split into two tournaments, the Clausura and Apertura, each with its own set of playoffs featuring eight teams). Los Rojinegros sealed wins against reigning Liga MX champions and CONCACAF Champions League finalists Tigres (2-0, January 14, 2017) and Club América (2-1, April 29, 2017) en route to a sixth-place finish and a meeting with rivals Chivas in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
In the rivalry duel, known as the Clásico Tapatío, Atlas battled to a 1-0 victory at home thanks to a penalty goal from Matías Alustiza before falling 1-0 away in the second leg to the eventual 2017 Clausura champions.
How they line up / key players:
In addition to Márquez and Alustiza, the latter of whom scored a team-high nine goals across the 2017 Clausura regular season and playoffs, Atlas is dangerous on the flanks, where Luis Reyes – fresh off Confederations Cup duty and currently in Mexico’s Gold Cup roster – and José Madueña race forward to provide service from left and right back, respectively. Miguel Fraga, the goalkeeper tucked under La Academia’s usual 4-4-2 formation, joins Reyes in Juan Carlos Osorio’s Gold Cup roster.
For the 2017 Apertura season el Profe José Guadalupe Cruz will be able to call on some new faces, including 23-year-old Texas-born attacker Uvaldo Luna, who moved to the club on a six-month loan, and Argentine forward Milton Caraglio, who struck five times for No. 1 seeded Club Tijuana over the course of last season. It goes without saying, but this is a dangerous bunch.
Tickets for this international friendly are available at MNUFC.COM or by calling 763.4SOCCER.