Liga MX: Edson to take one more bow with América?

Edson Alvarez is waiting to hear from Ajax, but might be called upon to play one more time with Amérca. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Edson Alvarez is waiting to hear from Ajax, but might be called upon to play one more time with Amérca. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Edson Álvarez might wear América’s colors one more time; Chivas stumble in Chicago; Toluca holds onto Mora.

América coach Miguel Herrera announced this week that if Edson Álvarez has not signed with a European club by the weekend, he might use the sturdy midfielder in the team’s Liga MX match against Monterrey.

Álvarez was asked to report for practice on Wednesday ahead of the Aguilas’ Apertura 2019 season opener against the Rayados in Estadio Azteca.

“If there is not a signed contract in the hands of (general manager) Santiago (Baños), we want him in camp,” Herrera said Tuesday. “Of course, if a contract is agreed to, we will give him a hug and send him on his way,”

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Monterrey is a serious contender for the league title this season and the Rayados defeated the Aguilas 3-2 last season.

Multiple reports suggest Ajax Amsterdam is on the verge of finalizing a deal for the 21-year-old Álvarez, but Herrera does not want to start off the new season by letting points escape, especially at home.

Herrera also told reporters that he would prefer that his protégé sign with Ajax rather than with a Premier League club. “Ajax is much better at developing young players and (Edson) already has a variety of skills that can be fine-tuned.”

In Holland, the Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf” urged Ajax management to get the deal done and not miss out as they did with Diego Lainez. Ajax appeared to be close to signing Lainez in January, but were outbid by Spain’s Real Betis.

“After collecting a large fee for selling off (defender) Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus, there should be no excuse to get outbid,” the newspaper wrote in its online edition.

Lainez – a teen prodigy – appeared all set to sign with Ajax, but when Betis came in with a bigger offer América and Lainez accepted it. The fact that Team Mexico captain Andrés Guardado is with Betis was also a factor.

Odds and Ends

Liga MX in ICC, Chivas lose
Alan Pulido, right, laments his penalty miss as Fiorentina goalie Bartlomiej Bragowski runs past him. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/International Champions Cup/Getty Images) /

The Chivas lost Tuesday night in their International Champions Cup debut against Fiorentina. The Serie A club won 2-1 in Chicago. With the score tied 1-1, Alan Pulido flubbed a penalty kick. The game was kept close by sterling performances from Chivas goalies José Antonio Rodríguez (in the first half) and Raúl Gudiño in the second half. … With the team facing relegation issues, Guadalajara management has decided to send out its youngsters on loan and rely on veterans to address the pressure of demotion. The Chivas sent seven academy products to Spain where they will play with second division clubs. The club used a similar strategy last season, sending out José Juan Macías to León but that sort of backfired because the 19-year-old striker proved to be ready for first division soccer and he scored 8 goals during the Clausura when Chivas coach José Cardozo had deemed him not yet ready. This season, strikers José de Jesús Godínez and Diego Hernández, and midfielder Oscar Macías have been loaned to Liga MX clubs in hopes that they will get playing time.

Puebla fans are happy to know that their Camoteros did not dismantle their team heading into the Apertura 2019. Star striker Lucas Cavallini will be retained after a strong bid was made by Cruz Azul to acquire the burly forward. Also, flashy left fullback Brayan Angulo remains on the roster. The strong Colombian was targeted by the Tigres during the transfer window. Puebla opens the season Friday night in Tijuana.

Toluca held onto promising young defender Adrián Mora despite a contract offer from the Tigres. Mora, a native of Parral, Chihuahua, joined the Toluca youth system from the Cecifut soccer academy in Torreón, Coahuila. Ricardo La Volpe – known for his ability to develop young players, including the aforementioned Lainez and Álvarez while he was head coach at América – took the Toluca job in March and immediately installed the 21-year-old Mora in the back line. However, Mora was out of contract in December and when Toluca did not quickly move to re-sign him, he made a deal with the Tigres. La Volpe complained loudly, telling reporters “If I had known we weren’t going to keep him, I would not have played him.” Toluca management stepped in and matched the Tigres offer to keep the youngster dressed in red, handing him a 3-year contract.