Odds and Ends as Apertura 2019 kickoff approaches

Edson Alvarez chomps down on his gold medal after helping El Tri win the Gold Cup on July 7. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Edson Alvarez chomps down on his gold medal after helping El Tri win the Gold Cup on July 7. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images) /

The 19-team Liga MX kicks off on Friday night with two matches, but team rosters are anything but settled as training camps wind down.

América coach Miguel Herrera has long accepted the fact that he is not likely to have midfield bulldog Edson Alvarez on his roster for the Apertura 2019 season. Aguilas management appears close to satisfying the player’s desire to move to Ajax Amsterdam despite rumors that Premier League club Wolverhampton had made the best offer.

Now it looks like América could have another hole to fill. After solid performances with Colombia in the Copa América, striker Roger Martínez is fielding calls from Europe. His 16.9 million-dollar buy-out clause would be a nice windfall for the team, plus it would clear a bigger spot for Gio dos Santos as he tries to work himself back into playing shape.

More from Viva Liga MX

The status of forward Jérémy Ménez remains up in the air, however. Ménez returned from a bad knee injury late last season and saw action in Sunday’s Champions Cup. América seemed certain to move the mercurial Frenchman after the acquisition of Chile striker Nico Castillo and the summer addition of Gio dos Santos. Now, there are reports that Herrera will still have Ménez on the roster through the length of his contract which ends at the close of the Apertura.

Plenty of captains, but are there enough troopers?

Guadalajara coach Tomás Boy announced over the weekend that he will be rotating the team captaincy. “El Jefe” has always preferred veteran leadership and this maneuver – rarely seen in Liga MX – is a way to emphasize shared responsibility, especially as the team opens the Apertura with a relegation battle on its hands.

Boy said Oribe Peralta, Jesús Molina, Alan Pulido, Isaac Brizuela, Hiram Mier and Oswaldo Alanís would take turns wearing the captain’s armband. Ironically, not one of the six “captains” is a product of the Chivas academy.

Cementeros flirt with Cavallini

Cruz Azul is said to be making one last push to acquire striker Lucas Cavallini from Puebla as Cementeros management seeks to stockpile weapons. Cavallini has scored 25 goals for the Camoteros since joining from Uruguay’s Peñarol two years ago.

General manager Ricardo Peláez and coach Pedro Caixinha might consider a quick recruiting trip to MLS or even Europe if they can’t swing the deal for Cavallini, but both were quick to declare they would not wait too long to finalize the Cementeros roster. They believe they have a very solid roster and want to focus on continuity and tactical awareness before August, reluctant to tweak the roster after the first month even though the transfer window extends through Matchday 7.

Apertura 2019 odds ends
Toluca coach Ricardo La Volpe gestures during a Liga MX match against the Pumas on April 28. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Miscellany from across Liga MX

Toluca coach Ricardo La Volpe expressed disgust with his roster after his team’s 3-2 victory over Ascenso MX club Potros UAEM. After the match, “El Bigote” said “We need help in central defense.” … Romario Ibarra – younger brother of América winger Renato – appears to be fitting in well at Pachuca. The 24-year-old midfielder joined from MLS club Minnesota United and claims he is ready to battle for a starting job. … Tijuana has said goodbye to leading scorer Gustavo Bou. Bou scored 8 goals for the Xolos last season, but signed with MLS club New England Revolution last week. The acquisition of striker Camilo Sanvezzo earlier in the week paved the way for the sale of Bou. Sanvezzo had a difficult Clausura 2019 season, but he scored 8 goals for the Gallos Blancos in the Apertura 2018.