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Soccer

Who to watch in the Súper Clásico: Who are some of the up and coming stars on both teams?

The countdown is on to the ‘Super Clasico’ in Liga MX when Club América plays against Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday in Mexico City.

Update:
Estadio Azteca, in Mexico City, Mexico
HENRY ROMEROREUTERS

All eyes on Saturday night will be glued to the screens as Mexico celebrates the ‘Clásico Nacional’ or ‘Super Clásico’ as the two most supported sides in the nation: Club América from the capital take on Chivas from Guadalajara at the Estadio Azteca.

With ‘Las Aguilas’ having secured a place in the play-off quarter finals, the pressure will be on the side from Guadalajara who desperately need the points to secure a top four finish and avoid the dreaded ‘repechaje’.

Here’s a handful of younger talents to watch out for during Saturday’s game....

Club America

Alejandro Zendejas (Age: 24)

Zendejas initially made his bow in top flight football with FC Dallas at the age of 17 despite the striker hailing originally from Ciudad Juarez.

In 2016, the player was snapped up by Chivas but his appearances for the ‘Rebaña Sagrada’ were limited primarily to cup matches.

Chivas coach at the time Matías Almeyda confirmed some youth players would be sent out on loan to sister club Zacatepec to get playing time with Zendejas dropping down a league where he blossomed as a striker.

In 2020 he moved back to Liga MX with Necaxa and after two solid years with the side from Aguascalientes, the forward was snapped up by Club America where he has been a regular starter for coach Ortiz.

Sebastian Caceres (Age 23)

The Uruguayan defender broke through the ranks of Liverpool Montevideo with Cáceres making his professional debut in August 2017.

After impressing in the Uruguayan top flight, in January 2020, Cáceres was snapped up by Club América where he has made more than 65 appearances for ‘Las Aguilas’ and will have his eyes set on breaking through into the Uruguayan national side having represented his country at all under-age levels.

Brian Rodriguez (Age 22)

Rodriguez is another one of the handful of Uruguayan players at the Liga MX club with the striker breaking through initially at the ranks of Montevideo giants Peñarol.

In 2019, the forward was snapped up by MLS side LAFC where the club paid Peñarol over $11M for his signature with the MLS side loaning the player out to Spain’s Almeria for a season.

His time in Spain was underwhelming and upon returning to LA, the club agreed a move to Liga MX as he penned a four year deal with America. Rodriguez is desperate to impress this season as he eyes a place with the ‘Charrua’ national team at the Qatar World Cup.

CD Guadalajara

Gilberto Sepúlveda (Age 23)

The Sinaloa born defender has been an ever-present at the heart of the solid Chivas defence this season having played in all 15 games of the Apertura 2022.

Sepúlveda made his professional debut with Guadalajara in January 2019, during a Copa MX group stage match against Cimarrones de Sonora in a 2–1 victory and made his Liga MX debut with the club in September, playing the entire match in a 1–1 tie against Cruz Azul.

Sepúlveda has been capped five times for the Mexican national side and will be disappointed to have been left out of the latest squad as Tata Martino prepares ‘El Tri’ for the Colombia and Peru friendly games.

Luis Olivas (Age 22)

Another regular for Ricardo Cadena’s team pairing up with Sepúlveda at the back. Before signing with Chivas the defender spent time in the UK with Liverpool before returning to Mexico.

In a bid to give the player more first team playing time, Olivas has spent a season with Spanish third tier outfit CD Tudelano along with a season in the Mexican second tier with Tapatio.

Olivas has featured in 14 games this season for Chivas and will be disappointed that he was omitted for the national call-up in a bod to add to his two full international caps.

Pavel Perez (Age 24)

Perez is another player who cut his teeth via the Chivas youth academy gaining experience via a series of loan deals where he spent a year with Spanish side Toledo ahead of spells with lower leagie sides Tepatitlan and Tapatio.

Perez has played 14 times for Chivas this season as he looks to establish himself as a key central midfielder for the club.