León recovers from Matchday 16 loss and leaves no doubt that it was the top Liga MX club in the Clausura 2019 regular season.
León was the clear No. 1, while Tijuana climbed into the playoffs on the final weekend and rose to the No. 7 spot in the Viva Liga MX Power Rankings. Elsewhere, UNAM and the Chivas sank and it’s time to say good riddance to Veracruz.
League-leading León was the No. 13 team in our final Apertura 2018 Power Rankings. This season, they held the top spot for the final 10 weeks … and there was never a doubt. Of course, the Liguilla is an entirely different animal.
Necaxa was the No. 16 team at the end of last season, No. 8 at the end of the Clausura 2019. Headed in the opposite direction were the Pumas who finished No. 5 last season and plummeted to No. 17 in these rankings.
Without further ado, here are the final Viva Liga MX Power Rankings for the Clausura 2019 season. Keep in mind that these rankings are more of a reflection of the regular-season performance and are not meant as a playoff prediction.
1. León (–)
The Esmeraldas bounced back from their first loss in over three months to knock aside Pachuca, a playoff team, and should head into the Liguilla with confidence.
2. Monterrey (+1)
The Rayados finished in third place in the Liga MX table, but their victory over the Tigres in the Concacaf Champions League gives them the edge in our opinion.
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3. Tigres (-1)
This team battled injuries down the stretch and still finished strong. A healthy André-Pierre Gignac sure helps, but the defense remains a cause for concern.
4. América (+1)
The Aguilas are the champs until somebody KO’s them in the playoffs. They have been inconsistent throughout the season, but striker Nico Castillo is back and the defense is ferocious.
5. Cruz Azul (-1)
The Cementeros closed the season with a 10-game unbeaten streak (6-4-0, 21 goals for, 8 goals against) but injuries have depleted coach Pedro Caixinha’s bench options and that could limit his tactical approach in the Liguilla.
6. Pachuca (–)
A schizophrenic team if we ever saw one. The league’s best home team (8-0-0) but winless on the road (0-4-5). Let’s see how that holds up in the playoffs.
7. Tijuana (+2)
After looking as if they might fade down the stretch, the Xolos put on two dominating displays to claim the final playoff berth, torching Morelia (4-1) and Puebla (4-0). The question now is, can they score against León?
8. Necaxa (-1)
The Rayos enter the postseason without their leading scorer and MVP candidate Brian Fernández who has left the team to join the MLS Portland Timbers. Seems like a recipe for disaster in the Liguilla.
9. Toluca (+1)
The Diablos made a late charge but came up just short. The team scored 22 of their 28 goals after Hernán Cristante was fired following Matchday 8 and coach Ricardo La Volpe led the Diablos to victories over Monterrey and América.
10. Puebla (-2)
The Camoteros came up short down the stretch (a tie and a loss) and have failed to reach the playoffs in seven straight seasons now.
11. Santos (–)
The Guerreros rediscovered their offense in their final game and their defense was not as sturdy as it had been in the Apertura 2018. Definitely a disappointing season.
12. Lobos BUAP (–)
These valiant upstarts were in the playoff race until the penultimate weekend and their success will lighten their relegation concerns in the coming seasons.
13. Atlas (+2)
The Zorros are in a rebuilding process and it is up to general manager Rafa Márquez to hurry up the process.
14. Guadalajara (-1)
Chivas fans suffered tremendously all season as “El Rebaño Sagrado” underachieved. Either that or this team is simply not as good as everybody thought. (We at Viva Liga MX lean toward the latter explanation.)
15. Morelia (+2)
The Monarcas fell off a cliff this season after performing above expectations last season. The offense regressed and the defense was worse. Not a good combination.
16. Querétaro (–)
The Gallos Blancos made the playoffs last season, but traded away key players – including goalie Tiago Volpi – before the Clausura started. Their defense was not their weak link however although it was rather atrocious.
17. UNAM (-3)
The Pumas had 13 fewer points than last season, only half the wins, and fell from the third-best offense to No. 13. The front office is under fire and changes will surely be made this summer.
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18. Veracruz (–)
The less said about this team the better. The Tiburones became the first team in Liga MX history to finish a season with 0 points. Need I say more?