In the final game of their CONCACAF Champions League campaign, the Puerto Rico Islanders host Isidro Metapán of El Salvador. With the Islanders unable to qualify, there is only pride left to play for, while Metapán still have a chance of going through to the next round if they can secure six points from their final two fixtures.
In their domestic league, Metapán currently sit second in the standings, just two points behind league leaders Alianza and travel to the Islanders off the back of a 1-1 draw against Santa Tecla at home.
Last time out in the Champions League, Metapán were on the wrong end of a 5-2 loss at the hands of the LA Galaxy, who they face in their final Champions League game next month.
As for the Islanders, they are currently preparing for a playoff campaign after finishing the NASL regular season in third place. The "Tropa Naranja" will face the Minnesota Stars in the playoffs, a side who they recently defeated at home and have enjoyed good success as locals over this season.
Ahead of the game, Coach Adrian Whitbread took time out to speak to the Club’s official website and admits, although his side may be out of the competition, they still have a potentially large say in who goes through to the next round.
“Well here we are our last group stage game in CONCACAF Champions League and I’ve told the squad I want three points to finish as the highest points tally from the Caribbean,” Whitbread said.
“We still have a deciding factor in the group stage even though I will be making changes again with one eye on our quarter final playoff game this Sunday.”
The Islanders had Nicholas Addlery to thank for their consolation goal in what was a disappointing evening for the club, following high expectations for their Champions League campaign.
For the visitors, striker Nicolás Muñoz is likely to provide the biggest attacking threat having scored all five of Metapán’s goals in the competition this season. Elsewhere Paolo Suárez, the brother of Liverpool striker Luis Suárez, brings a wealth of experience to the Metapán frontline.
By contrast, the Islanders have been fairly goal-shy in the CONCACAF Champions League this season. A single strike against Metapán is all the club have to show for their efforts. Regardless of that, Nicholas Addlery will provide a physical presence up top as the Islanders look to secure their first three points of the season in the Champions league.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Richard Martin will be vital in keeping the Islanders' back line tight as he looks to marshall his defense from between the posts. The former Manchester City goalkeeper was recently voted NASL's Player of the Month for August and is keen to carry over his form into the international competition.