1- America CF might be the equivalent of the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Yankees for soccer fans in Mexico. Can you explain a bit of the history behind the club and notable former players who played over there?
The comparisons to the Canadiens and Yankees are very accurate. Club América is one of the most storied clubs in Mexico. They've won Liga MX a record twelve times, and are going for their sixth CONCACAF title. In the club's 98 year history, they have never been relegated.
Club América's successes have come thanks to the club's long history of great players and coaches. Current Mexican National Team coach Miguel "El Piojo" Herrera was América's manager from 2011 until his hiring by the FMF in 2013. One of the players he managed was the Ecuadoran great Christian "Chucho" Benitez, who tragically died of a heart attack in 2013 while playing in Qatar. And one of the club's - and Mexican soccer's - greatest players was Cuauhtémoc Blanco, whose fifteen year career with América saw him net 125 goals in 333 appearances.
2-The crowd at Estadio Azteca will be the 12th player. How wild is it going to be for the Impact players ? What's the best way for them to get over that?
The Azteca and the crowd are like nothing else. The Azteca is the fifth-largest stadium in the world, holding just over 105,000 people. It has hosted two World Cup Finals (in 1970 and 1986) and is the site of Diego Maradona's "Hand of God".
The atmosphere for América matches is just as wild as you can imagine - large crowds singing and chanting for Las Águilas, and this will only be intensified due to the historic nature of the CONCACAF Champions League Final. It will likely be most difficult for the Impact players to be able to adjust to the ferocity of the crowd, although Impact captain Patrice Bernier might be able to give some insight. Bernier has represented Canada, who traveled to Panama in November for a friendly against the Panamanian National Team. It was perhaps not as intense as it will be in Mexico City, but it's a good warm up for just how passionate and wild the fans can be.
3- They finished 1st in the Torneo Apertura and they are currently 4th in the Clausura. What style the team is playing? What players are to watch ? And if they got some weaknesses, what exactly are they and how the Impact can take advantage of them?
Club América is a very talented team that can score a ton of goals. They will most certainly come out with a ferocious attack from their basic 4-4-2 setup. Carlos Darwin Quintero and Dario "Pipa" Benedetto are the new strikers acquired from Santos Laguna and Tijuana respectively. When these two are on, they are magic. When they are off though, Club América has struggled, as the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Querétaro this past weekend shows.
As far as weaknesses go, América tends to be their own worst enemy sometimes. The roster is stocked with talent, but it's the little things that do them in. In this weekend's match against Querétaro, man marking was the big mistake initially, and then it was ball watching when Ronaldinho came on. These are basic things that seem to do them in. If the Impact can figure out what mental mistakes América will make, it could go a long way in helping fluster them and throw them off of their game.
4-They lost 3-0 in the first leg of the Semis but then crushed their opponents 6-0 in the return game. How can you explain it? Which team of the two is the real America?
The short answer is that América is really both of those teams. They're a team that on their best day can run up the score on just about anyone, but on their worst day would have trouble beating a much weaker side. I think the mental mistakes and breakdowns are the cause of all of this, as the team is stacked from top to bottom. The quality is there, they've just had trouble pulling it together at times.
5-Starting XI and predictions of the final?
Predicted lineup: Hugo González; Paolo Goltz, Miguel Samudio, Pablo Aguilar, Paul Aguilar; Cristian Pellerano, Osvaldo Martínez, Michael Arroyo, Rubens Sambueza; Darwin Quintero, Darío Benedetto
Predicted score: América in the Azteca will be a difficult test for the Impact. They will be looking to avenge an embarrassing loss at home to Querétaro and I'm predicting a 3-1 win for América, with Montreal getting a very important goal on the road.
Thanks to Eugene from The Brotherly game for helping me with that. You can follow him on twitter @GolazodelGringo