Liga MX: VLMX Power Rankings – Jornada 16

TORREON, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 11: Oribe Peralta of America reacts during the 16th round match between Santos and America as part of the Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX at on November 11, 2018 in Torreon, Stadium Corona Mexico. (Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images)
TORREON, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 11: Oribe Peralta of America reacts during the 16th round match between Santos and America as part of the Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX at on November 11, 2018 in Torreon, Stadium Corona Mexico. (Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

An international break and one more matchday to go in Liga MX. Teams are filling up Liguilla spots.

The weekend produced a number of significant results in Liga MX. Teams that we expected to take the bull by the horns and really begin to cement their spot in Liguilla were underwhelming. Teams we’ve been wondering about all Apertura long suddenly looked scary.

America, Cruz Azul, Pumas, Santos, and Monterrey can all breathe a little easier, knowing they are guaranteed a Liguilla spot, whatever happens in Jornada 17. Tigres, Toluca, Monarcas, Pachuca, and Queretaro all stayed alive but will need to be sure they show up in the final match in order to continue their season.

The Rankings

Tier 1:

1. Cruz Azul (+1)
Held off the pesky Lobos and now have an excellent shot to have the top overall seed in Liguilla. I still have some questions how they will stand up offensively in Liguilla, but La Maquina has answered nearly every question up to now.
Tom Buckley: Nearly a perfect record at home suggests the Cementeros might enjoy a decent playoff run.

2. Club America (-1)
Not the way most Americanistas would like it, but Las Aguilas made it through the toughest stretch of their schedule without a loss. They have plenty to work on in the upcoming match against Veracruz, however. One area in need of improvement is creativity in the midfield. Diego Lainez should provide that upon returning from U-20 duty, but he’ll need a little help.
Tom Buckley: A tie on the road without 2 starters and Diego Lainez on U-20 duty. Not bad.

3. Pumas (+1)
Pumas bounced back from defeat to beat Toluca on the road and add an impressive win to the resume. They seem to be finding some form. Will the break throw them off, though?
Tom Buckley: If these guys continue to play like this on the road, watch out in the Liguilla.

4. Santos Laguna (-1)
Had their chances against Club America but couldn’t get more than a draw. Now they’ll need to win on the road against Pumas to avoid falling into one of the lower seedings. Pumas will offer them a challenging tune-up for Liguilla.
Tom Buckley: Not much separates teams from 2 to 5, but Santos just looked a bit off Sunday.

Tier 2:

5. Tigres (+3)
Um, yeah. That’s more like it. A six goal performance will leave Tigres fans with enormous smiles on their faces over the international break.
Tom Buckley: Was the 6-1 an anomaly or have the real Tigres finally decided to show up?

6. Monterrey (-1)
Necaxa was in free-fall, but Monterrey’s weird season continues. Anything can happen in Liguilla, but they are looking like they might get one of the more difficult match-ups if they can’t right the ship.
Tom Buckley: 39% possession against Necaxa? What happened? Still need time to get healthy.

7. Toluca ( -1)
Things looked promising against America, but they weren’t able to translate that to any points at home against Pumas. Still look like a dangerous team in Liguilla, but they still aren’t locked into a spot, yet.
Tom Buckley: Skipper Rubens Sambueza wasn’t even on the bench against Pumas. They’ll need him.

8. Pachuca (-1)
They had a chance to beat lowly Atlas and cement their place in Liguilla. Instead, they’ll try to secure their spot against Leon in a couple of weeks. This is a team that might surprise in Liguilla, if they end up making it. They have a lot of talent, so here’s hoping they complete the task.
Tom Buckley: A completely listless performance with the playoffs on the line. Disappointing.

9. Monarcas (+1)
Currently occupying the final Liguilla spot, Monarcas put three goals into the net of Xolos on the road, which is no small feat. Now they face Cruz Azul, however, and dropping any points could be the difference between in or out.
Tom Buckley: They snatched opportunity when it was presented to them, but Cruz Azul looms.

10. Queretaro (-1)
The easiest remaining schedule and Los Gallos Blancos laid an egg. Playing the worst team in Liga MX, Queretaro couldn’t take advantage of the friendly schedule and now they need help to make Liguilla.
Tom Buckley: The Gallos Blancos are still breathing, but they are on life support.

Tier 3:

11. Chivas (+1)
Chivas did their part to stay alive. Unfortunately, the other teams they needed help from did not. Guadalajara have no one to blame but themselves, though. Liguilla was not lost in one week.
Tom Buckley: A 1-0 win after a 6-game winless streak but they top the also-rans.

12. Lobos (+2)
They may be my favorite story in Liga MX this Apertura. They won’t make Liguilla, which everyone expected, but the unbeaten run they went on was a pleasant surprise and Leo Ramos is still scoring goals like mad.
Tom Buckley: Paco Palencia sure has this modest team playing well down the stretch.

13. Leon (+0)
Another loss at home makes six losses in their own house.
Tom Buckley: Perhaps the most erratic team in the league. Very unpredictable, but mostly bad.

14. Puebla (-3)
Well it almost looked like they’d pull it off. Then the dream ended with a thud. Tigres blew the doors off them.
Tom Buckley: They stayed in the playoff hunt until the penultimate weekend.

More from Viva Liga MX

15. Club Tijuana (+0)
Xolos scored two goals in a Liga MX match for the first time since drawing with Santos Laguna on August 22. It wasn’t enough to garner any points against Monarcas, though.
Tom Buckley: Xolos finally showed some life after 9 weeks scoring 1 goal or fewer.

16. Necaxa (+1)
It was only a draw, but a draw against Monterrey has to be encouraging for Los Rayos, after such a run of blah football.
Tom Buckley: Fell behind after 10 minutes, but did not hang their heads as has been their habit.

17. Atlas (-1)
No goals again, but getting a point against the high-powered Pachuca without scoring a goal has to count for something, right?
Tom Buckley: Shut out for the 11th time this season.

18. Veracruz (+0)
It will all be over soon.
Tom Buckley: New goalie, same result. But young keeper Sebastián Jurado played a very good game.