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CONCACAF Champions League Preview: Club America, Cruz Azul aim to build momentum
Aug 26, 2013 4:56 AM EST
Club America will look to take another step towards the next stage of the CONCACAF Champions League when they face Alajuelense on Thursday.
The Mexican Clausura champions opened their campaign with a slender 1-0 win over Sporting San Miguelito earlier in the month, and will hope to cement their place at the top of Group Four against the Costa Rican title holders.
Christian Bermudez netted the only goal of the game in America's opening victory, but the onus should be on 22-year-old striker Raul Jimenez - who scored 14 goals last season in the Liga MX - to fire them to victory.
Cruz Azul - who lost to America in the Clausura final - are also in action, as they aim to build on their 3-0 triumph over Herediano last week at Haitian side Valencia, who will go in as underdogs following their 6-1 hammering at the hands of Costa Rican side Herediano in their first outing.
Two MLS sides will be looking to give their hopes of progression a boost, with Houston Dynamo taking on Group One leaders Arabe Unido, while Sporting Kansas City make the trip to Honduras to face Olimpia.
Houston will be out to secure their first win after a disappointing a draw with W Connection of Trinidad and Tobago last week.
Kansas City fared better in their opener, overcoming Nicaragua's Real Esteli 2-0, and meet Olimpia with Argentinian attacker Claudio Bieler - nine goals in the MLS so far this term - hoping to continue his recent good form.
Another free-scoring forward will be in the spotlight as San Jose Earthquakes, defeated in their first game by Montreal Impact, travel to Guatemala to face Heredia.
San Jose will be led by United States international Chris Wondolowski, who has found the net eight times this term.
Tijuana host Firpo knowing a win will take them six points clear at the top of Group Seven, while Cartagines can overhaul LA Galaxy at the summit of Group Eight with maximum points against Isidro Metapan.
Elsewhere, Caledonia AIA host Comunicaciones in Port of Spain with both teams seeking their first points of the tournament.