Atlanta United hosts CF Pachuca for the inaugural American Family Insurance Cup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
It’s Atlanta United’s first match since the June international break. Last time out, the club lost to Columbus Crew 2-1, which brought an end to the team’s run of going unbeaten at home.
Atlanta United is using the international break to get back on track. During these two weeks, head coach Gonzalo Pineda has been focusing on reiterating the things the team has done well and fixing details that will help the group close out games.
“It’s not so much as a new start as just a new opportunity for us to show what we can do and show the talent that we have on this team,” striker Ronaldo Cisneros said.
What Is The American Family Insurance Cup?
Tuesday’s match marks the first-ever American Family Insurance Cup, which will be an annual match that will see Atlanta United play against top foreign clubs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This year’s opponent is CF Pachuca, a club that plays in Liga MX.
The matchday experience for the American Family Insurance Cup was chosen by the fans. Supporters had the opportunity to vote on everything related to the stadium experience, including who hits the Golden Spike, which kit Atlanta United will wear and what music plays when the home side scores a goal.
About CF Pachuca
CF Pachuca is a professional club based in Pachuca, Mexico that competes in Liga MX. This is the first all-time meeting between CF Pachuca and Atlanta United.
Pachuca is coming off a very successful season in Liga MX. The club finished the regular season at the top of the table with a 12-3-2 record and made it to the 2022 MX Clausura final where they fell to defending champion Atlas 2-3 on aggregate.
“They went to the final last year,” Pineda said. “They are a very good team, very good coach, very good, talented players. So, it’s going to be a very entertaining match.”
There’s one player on Atlanta United’s roster with a lot of experience in Liga MX: Ronaldo Cisneros. The striker played eight seasons in the Mexican league, most recently with Chivas Guadalajara, before coming to Atlanta on loan earlier this year.
His experience playing soccer in Mexico gave Cisneros particular insight into the way Pachuca likes to play.
“I think they’re a very young team and a very intense team,” Cisneros said. “They’re a team that always likes to have the ball and when they don’t, they try to press and win it back very quickly. That’s the style of their coach and they’re like that as well. So, they’re a very, intense team to play against, so it’s going to be a great challenge and a great opportunity for us.”
On The Line
Yes, there is a trophy. But there’s more involved for Atlanta United in Tuesday night’s matchup. It’s a double match week for Atlanta United, so Pineda wants to use the matchup against Pachuca as a way to prepare for the club’s return to MLS action this weekend.
“Obviously, this is going to be good preparation for us against [Inter] Miami,” Pineda said. “That’s what we have in our minds right now, so it can almost be as an 11-v-11 before Miami. It can be a good test for us, but obviously understanding that Pachuca is a very good side in Mexico.”
But with the matchup, Pineda said he’ll be using this opportunity to look at some of the younger players in the club. Don’t be surprised if some of the young stars of Atlanta United, like Danny Centeno, Aiden McFadden, Noach Cobb, potentially put their skills on display.
“It can be a good opportunity for young, talented players to face a different type of opponent and we can see them in a first team match as well, so I’m excited about that,” Pineda said.
Kickoff for Atlanta United and CF Pachuca is 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 14.