A Blank Slate for the Liguilla Semifinals

The Liguilla quarterfinals taught us much about the eight teams involved. Rayados are a dominant force ready to steamroll anyone who dare step in to their path, while Atlas is not ready to challenge for a title. America can win ugly, while Cruz Azul simply can’t win. Tigres, the victors, aren’t playing to their full potential, while Leon, the defeated, did just that.   And finally Morelia has come a long way from relegation avoidance, while Toluca continue to be a good but not great side.

Someone's El Tri Questions Answered

With World Cup ticket in hand, Mexico now readies a roster for another crack at this beautifully maddening tournament. Despite the smooth qualifying process, Juan Carlos Osorio and his El Tri will have much to solidify and solve before Russia rolls along. To that end, I’ve answered questions about this team, its manager, and the region in general. I’ve meticulously compiled these fictitious questions from potential readers. Thanks as always.

 

Who is Mexico’s best option at the holding midfield role? (Fred – Lincoln, NE)

Liga MX as College Football Teams

Liga MX took a ridiculously short break between seasons with just twelve days separating the final of the Apertura and today’s opening match of the Clausura. Just long enough to fill the void with a bunch of college football bowl games. To ease the transition back from bowl season to Liga MX, I created a handy comparison tool for those still in a Taxslayer Bowl type of mindset. I apologize in advance.

Context for Columbus: USMNT vs Mexico

There is an expectation in polite American society that political matters are not to be mixed with religion, dinner, fun among friends, an etiquette.  Politics is dirty business but supposedly necessary, so there may be pandering, campaigning, fact bending, but that type of gamesmanship is thought to live in its own realm.  We practice the façade of stuffing political feelings in a box to keep from poisoning other aspects of our lives. Agree to disagree. It’s just politics, as they say.

Snide Previews for Week Six

Veracruz v Toluca: It’s a good thing Toluca let go of Jose Cardozo. That was clearly the problem. Veracruz wins 2-1.

Cruz Azul v Santos Laguna: Ten matches between these two and a total of four goals scored. Here comes Chepo de la Torre to the rescue! So very much a 0-0 draw.

Morelia v Chiapas: In all of 2016, Morelia has lost once at home. In all of 2016, Chiapas has one once away from home. I’m no expert, but … Morelia wins 3-1.

Apertura 2016 Preview in Snide Comments

America: 100 years in … and I really do hate them more.

Atlas: The one true solace for Cruz Azul fans. Thanks, Atlas.

Chiapas: Are you still a professional team if your squad is playing pro bono?

Cruz Azul: Somebody get Trump a Cruz Azul shirt quickly.

Chivas: The team of the people may be seen by a select few people this year.

Leon: Kind of impressive being a Chivas development team and simultaneously superior to Chivas.

The Positives of Chile 7 - Mexico 0

Mexico’s drubbing at the hands of eventual champions Chile left many a Mexico supporter devastated. It was the worst loss Mexico suffered in anything anyone cared about. It hurt.

Three Points from Mexico v Uruguay

1. Triumph of the TInkerman

The predilection of Juan Carlos Osorio to adjust his lineup and tactics from match to match has beena  source of both confidence and consternation in the Mexican fan base. Some might be troubled by his peculiar formations that excludes proven talent. Others point to his adaptability and willingness to approach each match with an open mind. There is a case to be made for each, but one side is definitely building a stronger case.

Juan Carlos Osorio and Mexico Prevail Over Uruguay

The lead-up to Mexico's opening match in this Copa America is one full of speculation. The debate as to how Mexico will organize on the field and which eleven will present has been varied.  Would there be a three man back line? Would manager Juan Carlos Osorio really start Rafa Marquez? Would Hirving Lozano and Tecatito Corona form a formidable attack alongside Chicharito?

Separation Anxiety

This season started with the normalcy one would expect in recent years. Many teams looked good. There was a hint of resurgence from some. There were the dregs of the league performing justly. And the power of the league resided in Monterrey.

Rayados, under the leadership of Antonio Mohamed, looked to be back in the driver's seat in the league. Their form had been growing for a few seasons. Their acquisition of big time South American talent was paying off. Mohammed imposed his physical nature and defensive organization on a squad that had lost its way. Rayados were again Rayados.

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