Rayos striker Quiroga is lightning in a bottle

Mauro Quiroga salutes the crowd celebrates after scoring. (Photo by Jam Media/Getty Images)
Mauro Quiroga salutes the crowd celebrates after scoring. (Photo by Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Necaxa’s Argentine striker Mauro Quiroga has been a revelation for the Rayos and is now in the hunt to be the league’s top scorer.

After 13 matches, Necaxa has learned how to outshine many teams in the Liga MX, improving as the season progressed, and now find themselves in first place with 24 points. Pundits figured the Rayos would struggle after losing star player and leading scorer Brian Fernandez to the MLS in May, but the club is now an impressive 7-3-3.

Rayos management worked hard over the summer to restock the roster after losing several key players. In addition to Fernandez, Necaxa also lost striker midfielder Fernando Gonzalez and striker Victor Davila.

Necaxa fans were certainly unhappy to see Fernandez go, but the front office brought in new players that have rejuvenated the squad and the team has become one of the best offenses in the league.

Early on, young Argentine striker Maxi Salas, 21, was all the rage, attacking aggressively and scoring goals. Almost unnoticed was 29-year-old Mauro Quiroga who showed great versatility up front, holding off defenders, providing assists and knocking in an occasional goal. Now, Quiroga has become the focal point of the Rayos offense.

More from Viva Liga MX

Salas hit a bit of a slump and coach Guillermo Vazquez also worried about his reluctance to help on defense, but Quiroga has been an undisputed starter and his brace against Morelia on Friday landed him atop the scoring race. The burly striker has 8 goals (tied with Julio Furch) and three assists. More than half of the team’s 26 goals have been provided by the Argentine tandem (Salas has 6 goals).

Quiroga will continue to be the leader in attack as the Rayos chase a playoff position and a top seeding. They’ll try to continue their improbable season and remain near the top of the table. The Rayos face America when the Liga MX season resumes after the upcoming FIFA break.