IMAGE: noche latina

The Opposition | A closer look at Club Puebla

On Wednesday night, D.C. United will take a break from MLS action and face off against Club Puebla from Liga MX. The friendly match will be a great opportunity for players to test their skills against a team from another league and to celebrate D.C.’s Latin community on “Noche Latina.” And as always, the Black-and-Red will look to defend their home record at Audi Field. So, here is everything you need to know about D.C. United’s next opponent.

Recent Matches

Club Puebla currently sits at No. 17 out of 19 Liga MX teams. They have earned just six points in seven games, with a 1-3-3 record overall. The club’s most recent match was a 1-1 draw with No. 1 Queretaro on Sunday, September 1st. Queretaro scored early, but Puebla snagged a point thanks to a goal in the 90th minute from Pablo Gonzalez. Their lone win of the season came in the match before that, on Thursday, August 29th when they handed Juarez a 2-1 defeat. Similar to their match against Queretaro, Juarez scored first against Puebla. But Puebla equalized in the 70th minute with a goal from Gustavo Alustiza and took the lead with a stoppage-time goal from Lucas Cavallini. 

Players to Watch

It is still early in the Liga MX season and arguably, no stars have emerged on the Puebla roster. Cavallini and Matias Alustiza each have two goals on the season, including Cavallini’s game-winning goal against Juarez. Omar Fernandez, Christian Tabo, and Pablo Gonzalez round out this season’s goal-scorers with one goal each. 

Cavallini will not be traveling with the team to Washington D.C. He was supposed to be on the roster for Canada’s CONCACAF Nations League matches against Cuba, but his wife is expecting a baby, so he decided to stay in Puebla to be with his family. 

On the defensive end, Nicolas Vikonis has been the starting goalkeeper in every match for Puebla so far this season. He hasn’t had a great start to the year, allowing an average of two goals a game. Brayan Angulo and Nestor Vidiro are the only defenders to start every match for Puebla so far this year, but again, they have struggled.

Club History

Club Puebla was founded in the Mexican city of Puebla in 1944. They have spent most of that time in the top flight of Mexican soccer, with the exception of a couple of spells where they were in Primera A. In total, they have won the Liga MX title twice (1982-83 and 1989-90) and the Primera A title twice (2005 and 2006). They have won five Copa MX titles, most recently in 2015. 

Ricardo Alvarez is the team’s all-time leading goalscorer. He started with the team during its inaugural season in 1944 and scored 87 goals with the team over the next five years. Matias Alustiza, who is currently on loan from Atlas, is the No. 7 goalscorer in Puebla’s history with 64 goals for the club between 2012 and 2016. Americans who have played for Puebla include Herculez Gomez (2010 and on loan in 2015), DaMarcus Beasley (2011-2014) and Edgar Castillo (2011). 

The match against Puebla kicks off at 8:00 PM ET on Wednesday night at Audi Field. Tickets for the match are available here