Match Preview

Match Preview: Atlanta United hosts Cruz Azul in group stage of Leagues Cup


First Touches

Match Details

  • Date: Saturday, July 29
  • Kickoff time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Tickets: View tickets

How to watch, listen and live stream Atlanta United vs. Cruz Azul


About Cruz Azul

Cruz Azul, or Club de Fútbol Cruz Azul, is a professional football club based in Mexico City. The club competes in Liga BBVA MX, the top division of Mexican soccer. Cruz Azul was founded in Hidalgo before moving to Mexico City in 1971. The team is well-known for their blue color. In Spanish, "azul" means blue. One of the club's nicknames is "La Máquina Azul," which means The Blue Machine.

Atlanta United met Cruz Azul previously in 2023 during the preseason trip to Mexico City in February when the clubs played a scrimmage at Cruz Azul's home stadium, Estadio Azteca. Here are a few more Atlanta United connections to Cruz Azul:

  • Center back Luis Abram played 25 matches for Cruz Azul before joining the 5-Stripes.
  • Head coach Gonzalo Pineda also played for the Mexican club in 2010-2011.
  • Atlanta United assistant coach Eugenio Villazón served as an assistant at Cruz Azul for his former manager Enrique Meza from 2009-2012.
  • Center back Juanjo Purata was coached by Tuca Ferretti, the current head coach of Cruz Azul, when they were both at Tigres UANL.

Recent Form

It's been a tough run of form for Atlanta United and the 5-Stripes enter Saturday coming off three straight losses in all competitions, most recently a 4-0 defeat in their Leagues Cup debut against Inter Miami CF on Tuesday at DRV PNK Stadium. Saturday's opponent, Cruz Azul, is also coming off a loss to Inter Miami in Leagues Cup, a match that looked liked it was heading to penalty kicks until Lionel Messi was subbed on in the second half and delivered the game-winner on a spectacular direct free kick in stoppage time. Prior to that, Cruz Azul opened the Apertura season with straight losses. Expect an added intensity Saturday as both teams look to break their current run and get on the winning side.

What's at stake in Leagues Cup

Atlanta United and Cruz Azul are both in the South 3 group along with Inter Miami CF. Earlier this week with the win over Atlanta, Miami clinched the no. 1 spot in the group and a place in the Round of 32. Cruz Azul also lost their Leagues Cup debut to Inter Miami. That leaves both Atlanta United and Cruz Azul with one loss in the group stage. In Leagues Cup, the top two teams in each group advance, which means with a win over Cruz Azul on Saturday the 5-Stripes will advance to the tournament's knockout stage.

Atlanta United 🔴⚫
Cruz Azul 🔵
Head coach
Gonzalo Pineda
Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti 
Major League Soccer
Regular season record (W-L-T)
Home venue

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

(Atlanta, Ga.)

Estadio Azteca

(Mexico City, Mexico)

Red, black
Global competition

Global competition

Leagues Cup runs July 26-August 25.

Leagues Cup

Leagues Cup

All of the clubs from MLS and Liga MX will compete in a completely reimagined Leagues Cup: an annual, month-long tournament that runs from July 26-August 25, 2024.

Resurgens Kit

Resurgens Kit

Blue is a nod to the renewal of Atlanta. Yellow represents Atlanta’s vibrant history and identity. This is Atlanta United's latest community kit.