EDINBURG — Hundreds of fans turned out to watch their beloved Rayados in an open practice Wednesday evening at H-E-B Park in advance of the tonight’s showdown between Club de Futbol Monterrey and Club Laguna Santos.
The friendly between two of the top squads in Liga MX, the top division of Mexican soccer, kicks off a preseason American tour for the familiar foes with stops in San Antonio and Austin before starting regular season play.
With a combined 138 consecutive seasons of Liga MX play between them, the rivalry between Monterrey and Laguna Santos is one of the fiercest and most storied in Mexican soccer history. The two teams have collected 10 top-division titles among them, as well as four CONCACAF Champions League titles, too.
C.F. Monterrey has enjoyed unparalleled success in recent years, capturing four of the past nine Champions League crowns as the top club team in all of North America. Los Rayados won their most recent championship in the 2019 Champions League, topping cross-city rivals UANL Tigres 2-1 on aggregate.
Santos Laguna, meanwhile, enters today’s match as one of the more recently successful teams in Liga MX play. Los Verdiblancos won the 2018 Clausura end-of-year tournament and reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 Apertura tournament most recently.
Neither club participated in the 2019 Clausura tournament due to their participation in the concurrent CONCACAF Champions League. Santos Laguna reached the semifinals of the 2019 Champions League, falling to UANL Tigres 5-3 on aggregate.
The Rayados and Verdiblancos will be looking to follow up on their strong campaigns in the 2018-19 season with a strong showing and a victory tonight.
Forwards Julio Furch and Javier Correa, who scored a combined 10 goals in Champions League play, will lead an aggressive offensive attack for Santos Laguna. On the opposite side of the pitch, prolific goal scorer Gabriel Funes Mori (11 goals in Champions League) and star goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero will anchor an all-around strong Monterrey squad.
The “La Norteña” rivals will kick off tonight’s friendly match at 5:30 p.m. at H-E-B Park in Edinburg with a July 4 fireworks show immediately after the conclusion of the contest. Tickets can be purchased at the stadium or online at www.hebparkrgv.com or www.spdfutbol.com.