Cruz Azul and América are dealing with roster movement as Liga MX teams prepare for Matchday 2.
Matchday 2 is fast approaching, a weekend that will see champion América make its debut and also features a Chivas-Cruz Azul clash. With the Liga MX transfer window still open for another 3 weeks, these early matches are critical, especially for teams still anxious to tweak their rosters.
ESPN’s Tom Marshall touched upon several key developments earlier this week – Diego Lainez’s imminent move to Real Betis; Boca Juniors swooping in for Cruz Azul’s linchpin midfielder Iván Marcone; and, an offer for Cecilio Domínguez to leave América for Argentina’s Independiente.
The Lainez move to Europe has been rumored for weeks, but the shift from Ajax to Spain’s Betis was helped by the presence of long-time Team Mexico captain Andrés Guardado.
The notion that Betis would send Guardado to América after his contract expires next year probably appeals to Aguilas management, but Atlas fans would struggle to see “El Principito” wearing yellow.
Lainez’s teammate, Edson Álvarez – the hero of América’s Finals victory over Cruz Azul – is now being recruited by PSV Eindhoven, where national teamers Hirving Lozano and Erick Gutiérrez play. América continues to rival Pachuca for exports. Starting in 2011, goalie Memo Ochoa left for Ajaccio (France), defender Diego Reyes migrated to Porto in 2013, striker Raúl Jiménez went to Atlético de Madrid a year later, while Miguel Layún moved to Watford in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, América thought it had a deal in place to acquire Chile striker Nico Castillo from Portugal’s Benfica. Then Castillo – a star with the Pumas a short time ago – changed his mind. At the same time, the Aguilas are set to ship winger Cecilio Domínguez to Independiente.
Add to this the fact that Mateus Uribe and Roger Martínez will also be unavailable this weekend and coach Miguel Herrera will be mixing-and-matching against Atlas.
Cruz Azul Blues
The Cementeros could soon have a gaping hole in the middle of their defensive alignment. Bulldog midfielder Iván Marcone is on the verge of making a dream move to Boca Juniors, a return to his native Argentina designed to help him win a spot on the Albiceleste roster alongside Leo Messi for the Copa America.
Universal Deportes reported Thursday that Marcone’s agent worked out a deal with Boca when Cruz Azul refused to offer a pay raise after the 28-year-old excelled in his first season with the Cementeros. Christian Bragarnik, the agent, convinced Boca management that Marcone was worth the buy-out clause and once the Argentines offered the $10 million-dollar asking price, Cruz Azul was obligated to respond. I imagine Coach Caixinha is rather glum right about now.
Diego Maradona soap opera continues
The Dorados truant coach turned in another doctor’s note to explain his continuing absence from the team. Maradona obtained permission from Dorados ownership to spend another week at home “recovering and resting” before he returns to Mexico.
Fortunately, the Dorados have a bye this weekend and Maradona would have only missed the season-opener against Celaya (a 1-0 loss at home). Gossips point out that, far from resting, Diego has been traveling (to Ecuador and Venezuela) on what seemed more like pleasure trips than R&R. Boys will be boys.
More from Viva Liga MX
- Guillermo Ochoa is out 4-6 weeks
- The Clásico Regiomontano is Heating Up
- Pumas: In Search of Regaining a Top Spot
- Why the United States Is Set to Overtake Mexico on the World Stage
- Erick Gutierrez is out once again
Boselli bows out
Bitterness continues to color the break-up between Mauro Boselli and León as the Argentine striker bid farewell to fans at the team’s Copa MX match on Tuesday. Boselli is one of León’s all-time great players, but was told by the club at the end of last season that he would not be on the roster for the Clausura 2019.
Speculation had him being offered to clubs, until Boselli announced he would not play for any Liga MX team except América, preferring to sign with a team closer to home, in either Brazil or Argentina. No deal was made and Boselli remains in limbo.
This week, León management announced that its Copa MX match against Oaxaca would be “Mauro Boselli Appreciation Night.” Boselli tweeted that he “would have preferred to stay with León but you decided you don’t want me.” Boselli did show up at the match – a 1-0 loss to the Alebrijes – but did not go to the team box. Instead, he mixed with fans in the stands, posed for selfies and led cheers.
The Tata watch
New El Tri boss Gerardo Martino will be under the microscope as he goes about installing his team and formulating his managerial philosophy. So I’ll find it interesting to see which Liga MX matches he attends.
Will Tata be at Estadio Azteca Saturday evening to see Cruz Azul host the new-look Chivas? When will he make his visits to the Europe-based players?