FC Dallas has advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League final four. Up next: a semifinal matchup against Pachuca. Here are a few things you might not know, but need to, about this Liga MX powerhouse.
From Cornish Miners to Carlos Slim
Pachuca is one of the oldest football clubs in the Americas. It was founded in 1901 by Cornish miners who practiced soccer during their free time while working at the mines. Interestingly, the Cornish are credited for bringing soccer (futbol) to Mexico. In 2012, billionaire Carlos Slim purchased a 30% stake in Grupo Pachuca, which owns Pachuca and Leon.
Since getting promoted to the Primera Division in 1998, Pachuca has been one of the most successful clubs in Mexico. It has won six Liga MX championships, four CONCACAF Champions’ League crowns and a Copa Sudamericana title, becoming the only Mexican side to win the South American trophy.
Home Is Where The Wins Are
FC Dallas will play a match in the home and home series at Pachuca, a place that has been difficult for visiting teams. Pachuca hasn’t posted a loss at home in CONCACAF Champions League play, posting a 12-0-1 record.
Keep An Eye On These Two
Pachuca features two of Mexico’s most talented players in 21-year-old winger Hirving Lozano, whose nickname is Chucky, and 21-year-old central midfielder Érick Gutiérrez.
A Familiar Face
This feeling will never get old! So proud of my teammates & our entire staff. And so proud to be a Tuzo! Champions! pic.twitter.com/SzUX7SxUyI— Omar Gonzalez (@Omar4Gonzalez) May 30, 2016
Pachuca centerback Omar Gonzalez is a Dallas native who graduated from Skyline High School, also the alma mater of former NBA great, Larry Johnson AKA Grandmama. Gonzalez played collegiately for the Maryland Terrapins and helped the Terps beat North Carolina in the 2008 NCAA soccer championship at then Pizza Hut Park here in Frisco.
This final four CONCACAF Champions League matchup will see local connections on each side with FC Dallas’ homegrown-heavy roster featuring the likes of, among others, Kellyn Acosta and Gonzalez on the Mexican side.
In short, it’s gonna be a show.