We are into the Round of 16 in the Leagues Cup, and MLS sides dominate the bracket.
11 of the teams making this round come from the US. However, there is plenty of football to be played, and it’s been clear that Mexican sides have had the edge over their American counterparts in continental tournaments historically.
Jack Collins here from The Game Day to look at a matchup between Mexico’s best bet of lifting the trophy, according to the bookmakers, and an MLS side rolling off a high from knocking out another of the favorites.
Nashville SC vs Club América Odds
Nashville SC vs Club América betting lines are current as of Monday, August 7, at 11 a.m. ET at bet365 Sportsbook.
- Three-Way Moneyline: Nashville (+170) • Tie (+250) • America (+155)
- Total Goals: Over 2.5 (-138) • Under 2.5 (+107)
- Both Teams To Score: Yes (-175) • No (+125)
Nashville SC vs Club América Match Prediction
Nashville SC 2:1 Club América
CONCACAF Champions League winners Club Léon fell to Real Salt Lake in the previous round, but many feel that the most concrete chance of a Mexican side lifting this trophy comes from Club América.
It’s a slightly strange one, as the club from the Mexican capital hasn’t exactly set the tournament on fire so far. In fact, they qualified second in the Central 1 group, behind Columbus Crew, who hammered them 4-1 in the decider.
Club América were impressive in a 4-0 pasting of St. Louis just days before, but the ease with which the Crew could dismantle their back line in the second half was somewhat alarming. The fact that they took such a heavy beating from being 1-0 up only added to the consternation.
As such, coach André Jardine made a slight tactical tweak for the Round of 32 against Chicago Fire, dropping captain Miguel Layun for veteran Jonathan dos Santos and returning from a 4-2-3-1 shape to the more conservative 4-3-3 that was on show in St. Louis, with Dos Santos playing as the deepest midfielder.
It worked - Club América dominated the ball and restricted a formerly free-flowing Fire side to just five shots on goal, none of which hit the target. You’d imagine Jardine would like to continue in that vein if possible.
Still, it’ll be more challenging because of a late red card shown to Paraguayan midfielder Richard Sanchez, who had been ever-present at the tournament until then.
He’s not the only one missing - Henry Martin injured himself in the warmup against Chicago and looks like he’ll miss the rest of the tournament. However, Julián Quiñones is a more than capable deputy through the middle.
That means that USMNT international Alejandro Zendejas gets the nod out wide, and the winger will almost certainly be desperate to impress back in the country he represents after a disappointing tournament with the national team in the Gold Cup.
It’s been a mixed tournament for Nashville, too, although they have represented maybe the most entertaining brand of football across the entire competition.
A win over Colorado in their opener was closer than needed. Then they played out a topsy-turvy game with eventual group winners Toluca that ended 4-3 to their Mexican visitors - but has a shout for being the most engrossing game of the group stages.
The second spot pitted them against FC Cincinnati, who had hammered Nashville 3-1 at TQL Stadium in the last MLS game before the Leagues Cup began, but revenge was served cold - a 1-1 draw in Ohio was followed by a Nashville win on penalties with a 100% record in the shootout.
All that boils down to this one being hard to gauge. Club América might be sportsbooks’ favorites from the Mexican side of things, but they remain in a quandary, especially with two key players missing.
And when things get tight, how often have we seen Hany Mukhtar, reigning MLS Player of the Year, come up trumps for Nashville?
I’m edging toward Nashville with home advantage, opponents with crucial components out, and backing a moment of Mukhtar magic for the Music.
Nashville SC vs Club América Best Bet
Both Teams to Score: Yes (-175) • bet365 Sportsbook
It might seem bold after Club América kept the Fire from having a shot on target, but Nashville are a better side than Chicago, and both teams have scored in every game they’ve played in this tournament.