Here are four Mexican players – one from each team remaining in the Liguilla – to watch during the semifinals.
The Liguilla kicks off Wednesday night with a Clasico Regio in one semifinal and the Super Leader facing the defending champs in the other. these young Mexican players are key contributors to their teams and will properly help their team achieve success these next few games that will take place.
Carlos Rodriguez, Monterrey midfielder
The 22-year-old is a local boy, hailing from a Monterrey suburb. He is one of the up-and-comers in Liga MX currently and plays with a poise well beyond his years. Rodriguez is one of the main reasons the Rayados are in the semifinals. Rodriguez has been a fundamental player during the Clausura 2019, getting early starts in place of Jonathan Gonzalez who was recovering from injuries. Rodriguez started 14 games, and had one goal and four assists, switching from a holding position and moving up into attack smoothly without shirking his defensive duties.
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Nicknamed “El Titan,” Salcedo is a solid defender who the Tigres picked up during the winter transfer window. He has stepped into the back line effectively, working well with line-mates Luis Rodriguez, Hugo Ayala and Jesus Dueñas all of whom also have national team experience. The 25-year-old returned to the Liga MX from Eintracht Frankfurt and has been a constant starter when healthy. An injury cost him a few games but he had nine starts, playing a total of 800 minutes and he also scored once. “El Titan” helped hold potent Pachuca to one goal in the first leg in Estadio Hidalgo, where the Tuzos had been mostly unstoppable. In order to beat the attack-minded Rayados, the Tigres back four will have play well and Salcedo’s leadership and experience will go a long way toward ensuring that.
Jose Rodriguez, Leon defensive midfielder
League-leading Leon has a deep roster and with the big numbers put up by players like Angel Mena and Jose Juan Macias, it is hard to be noticed. But Jose Rodriguez is a fundamental part of Leon’s success, teaming up with captain Luis Montes in midfield and linking up the active back four with the dangerous attackers. At 22 years of age, Rodriguez registered 16 starts in the Clausura 2019, completing 836 passes to lead the team. His work in slowing down opponents and cutting off passes contributed mightily to Leon’s historic 12-game win streak.
Jorge Sanchez, America left back
The 21-year-old native of Torreon has been a revelation this season, holding down the left side of America’s rugged defense, completely winning the confidence of coach Miguel Herrera. He did not have a great game against Cruz Azul on Sunday (which America player did?), but he did not make any egregious mistakes. With 12 appearances and one assist in the Clausura 2019, Sanchez has shown that he is equally as reliable as the veterans on the back four and he is gaining experience playing in big games.