MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact, the first Canadian team to appear in a CONCACAF final, is trying to become the first non-Mexican team to win the tournament since Costa Rica’s Saprissa in 2005.
Here are a few things you may not have known about the CONCACAF final.
1. The Azteca curse is real
Impact played its first game against Club America in Mexico City at the Estadio Azteca or Azteca Stadium. The bowl-like arena sits on top of the Mexican capital, towering over Mexico City at an altitude of 7,349 feet in an area choked with pollution.
The most common strategy used by Mexican teams to intimidate their opponents involves running foreign players to exhaustion — something known as the “curse of the Azteca.” The high altitude and the high levels of air pollution are a lethal combination.
2. The stadium has plenty of history
It’s an iconic stadium. It has hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals, and even saw Diego Maradona’s controversial “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter finals against England.
3. It’s the first time a Canadian MLS team makes this far in CONCACAF
This is the first time a Canadian team has made it this far in the CONCACAF final, and it is just the second time for an MLS team.
If the Montreal Impact wins against Club America, they would become the first MLS team win the CONCACAF trophy.
4. Do the Impact stand a chance?
What are the Montreal Impact’s odds against Club America? Betting sites seem to favour Club America taking it 2-0 at home.
Although Mexican teams have been on top of the podium more than any other country, Club America has yet to win a CONCACAF cup.
5. Club America fans
Club America fans are called “Azulcremas” (gold and blue jerseys) and they’re represented by an eagle. The Impact’s diehards are known as “Ultras.”