Omar Gonzalez's Pachuca has the upper-hand over Edgar Castillo's Monterrey

Omar Gonzalez - Pachuca - THUMBNAIL ONLY

At least one American export is going to win the Liga MX final this weekend, and erstwhile LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez has the edge.

Gonzalez’s Pachuca side has beaten out Monterrey in the first leg of Clausura series, 1-0, putting defender Edgar Castillo and Monterrey behind heading into Sunday’s deciding leg.

Gonzalez saw a header saved in the 25th minute in one of Pachuca’s best chances on the night. Meanwhile, Castillo sat on the bench as an unused substitute.

The game-winning goal on Thursday came as Argentine Franco Jara shook his defender and headed in a cross from Pachuca captain Erick Gutierrez. Monterrey struggled, not recording a shot on goal until the 86th minute.

Gonzalez was left off coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man roster for Copa America, a decision that was met with some surprise given Gonzalez’s strong form with Pachuca. But Castillo, who initially missed the roster, was added as a late scratch on Friday to replace injured Timmy Chandler. He will join the US national team after Sunday’s return leg.

Pachuca only needs a draw or win to clinch their sixth title, and Monterrey faces a must-win scenario if they want to win their fifth. Gonzalez's usual central defense partner, Oscar Murillo, exited Thursday’s match with an apparent groin injury, which could create additional pressure if he doesn’t return Sunday.