No. 1 Santos all but nails down top playoff seed

Santos defeated América at Estadio Azteca for the first time in eight games, virtually sewing up the top seed for the playoffs. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Santos defeated América at Estadio Azteca for the first time in eight games, virtually sewing up the top seed for the playoffs. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
2 of 2
Santos tops Rankings
Cruz Azul was unable to build on any momentum they might have gained after beating León because they had a bye on Matchday 17. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images) /

Teams No. 9 through 14 still entertain playoff hopes

9. Cruz Azul (+4)

The Cementeros sat on the sidelines this past weekend serving its bye, preventing Robert Siboldi’s club from maintaining momentum after the club’s 1-0 win over León on Thursday. Next up is a visit to Santos Laguna in which anything less than a win will put an end to this miserable season for La Máquina Azul.

Santos tops Rankings
FC Juárez handed Tijuana a painful loss on Sunday and the Xolos now have no margin for error. (Photo by Alvaro Avila/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

10. Tijuana (–)

The Xolos laid an egg at Juárez when a win could have virtually sewn up a second straight Liguilla appearance.

11. Monterrey (-2)

The Rayados almost lost at home to Veracruz, scoring the equalizer in minute 90+5. Dropping those 2 points be the difference between a postseason berth and missing the playoffs for the first time since the Apertura 2016.

12. UNAM (-1)

The Pumas came up short against Puebla in a must-win situation and now the auriazules must find a way to make up 2 points to catch eight-place Tijuana or else sit at home and watch the Liguilla on TV.

13. Atlas (-5)

The Zorros have hit the skids and their 3-game losing streak will be “extended” because they must serve a bye on Matchday 18. With only one game remaining, Atlas likely played itself out of a playoff berth.

14. Atlético San Luis (+2)

The Tuneros have been in the eye of the storm the past few weeks (fan violence resulted in a 2-game stadium ban then their coach was fired over corruption allegations), but the team has remained focused on the field. The rojiblancos held their own against América then smacked Atlas in Estadio Jalisco.

14. Guadalajara (+3)

The Chivas are not mathematically eliminated, staying alive for another week after spanking Toluca 3-1. The earlier 1-0 home loss to Tijuana looked to have ended their season, but “Chofis” López and Alan Pulido said “Not so fast.”

16. FC Juárez (-2)

A wild week for the Bravos who were absolutely trounced by Morelia (6-1) before whipping Tijuana 3-0 in the first regular-season Border Team Bowl.

17. Toluca (-2)

The Diablos could be preparing for a thorough house-cleaning before the Clausura 2020 as Ricardo La Volpe’s team has woefully underperformed this season. The poor results mean “El Bigotón” won’t be back with Toluca next season.

Santos tops Rankings
Veracruz striker Colin Kazim-Richards scored the winner against Puebla and nearly did the same against Monterrey before the Tiburones gave up a late equalizer. (Photo by JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images) /

18. Puebla (–)

The Camoteros became the first team to lose to Veracruz since Aug. 25, 2018, but battled UNAM to a draw to salvage a point for the week.

19. Veracruz (–)

The Tiburones ended their 14-month winless streak with a 1-0 win against Puebla and then nearly pulled off a big upset at Monterrey before settling for a draw. If they get a couple more points down the stretch they could potentially escape the cellar.