This article is a translation of a piece originally published on FutbolMLS.com: 6 Razones por las que Montreal Impact le ganará al América la final de la Liga de Campones
For many, Club América are massive favorites to win the CONCACAF Champions League, but the Montreal Impact can spring a surprise in the two-leg final, which starts with Wednesday night's first leg at the Estadio Azteca (9 pm ET, FOX Sports 2, UniMás, match preview).
We give you six reasons why Montreal will win the final:
(1) CANADA'S HISTORY OF SOCCER EXPLOITS – Remember when Canada eliminated Mexico in the quarterfinals of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup? The Canadians wound up taking that year's title. Canadian soccer has had its fair share of upsets.
(2) ALWAYS UNDERDOGS – From the final of the 2014 Canadian Championship against Toronto FC to the group stage of the Champions League against the New York Red Bulls to the knockout wins over Pachuca and Alajuelense, the Impact have been the underdogs every step of the way. It's no different in the final. (Of course, FC Edmonton might disagree, but we digress).
(3) PIATTI'S EXPERIENCE – Argentine midfielder Ignacio Piatti was instrumental in San Lorenzo's Copa Libertadores triumph in 2014. He knows exactly how to play in continental cup tournaments, and his contribution will be key.
(4) FRANKIE FACTOR – Montreal head coach Frank Klopas has a history against Mexican soccer. Twenty years ago, in the 1995 Copa América, he scored the decisive penalty kick for the US to eliminate Mexico in a quarterfinal shootout. He also has added insight into Mexican teams and players after overseeing Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Pavel Pardo with the Chicago Fire.
(5) AMÉRICA-N INCONSISTENCY – Gustavo Matosas' team is not playing their best soccer. In the last five weeks, they have been thrashed 3-0 by Herediano (March 17), 4-0 by Veracruz (March 20) and 4-0 at home by Ronaldinho's Querétaro (April 18). What version of América will we see in the two legs of the final?
(6) HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE – The Impact will close out the series at Stade Olympique in front of a capacity crowd on April 29. Of Club América's five CONCACAF titles, three came in the Azteca (1987, 1990, 2006), one came at a neutral site (1992) and they last won as visitors in 1977, in Suriname. Canada will be a tough trip for las Águilas.