Santos rules the roost in the final Viva Liga MX Power Rankings of the Apertura 2019 season.
All eight Liga MX playoff teams finished in the top eight for the second consecutive week, with Santos in its familiar spot atop the rankings. Seven teams remained unmoved in this week’s list, a new record, and the biggest movers were Querétaro and Cruz Azul, both of whom moved up 3 spots.
The top eight here don’t reflect the playoff seedings where Necaxa is No. 5 and the Gallos Blancos No. 4, but we think the Rayos will come out of that match-up and advance to the semifinals. The Rayos did win at Querétaro on Matchday 11, although that was two months ago.
Monterrey also ranks higher than their postseason seeding (as the No. 8 seed, they’ll go up against top-seeded Santos), but the Rayados finished on a 3-1-0 run and all three wins were against teams vying for the final playoff spot (Pachuca, Tijuana and Atlas). Monterrey was at No. 15 on our list after Matchday 13 and its final ranking (No. 6) matches its high point of the season. They could be dangerous in the Liguilla.
So, let’s get to the final Power Rankings of the season. As always, the figure in parentheses after the team name indicates the change in that club’s ranking from the previous ranking.
Final Viva Liga MX Power Rankings
1. Santos (–)
The Guerreros are favored to claim their seventh Liga MX title and they should be as they boast the highest-scoring offense in the league.
2. León (+1)
The Esmeraldas never did hit the heights they enjoyed last season when they finished with the No. 1 seed, but they showed flashes of their offensive power during the second half of the Apertura. If captain Luis Montes is full fit for the playoffs, watch out!
3. Tigres (+2)
Tuca Ferretti’s team did not seem as potent as in past years, but they only lost twice all season, treading water early on with five consecutive ties. They have not lost since Sept. 24 and they handed Santos a 4-0 spanking on Oct. 4.
4. Necaxa (-2)
With three games remaining, the Rayos had a shot at the No. 1 seed, only to lose twice down the stretch as their offense lost its spark. Coach Memo Vázquez will have to motivate his squad quickly or their wonderful season could end abruptly.
5. Querétaro (+3)
Víctor Manuel Vucetich deserves Coach of the Year consideration as he led the Gallos Blancos to a fabulous bounce-back season. Querétaro was in the playoff mix the entire Apertura.
6. Monterrey (+1)
The Rayados finished strong, perhaps erasing the memory of a slow start and uninspired play that got coach Diego Alonso fired. Coach Antonio Mohamed will be hoping striker Rogelio Funes Mori and fullback Miguel Layún regain fitness quickly.
6. América (-2)
The Aguilas had their bye on the final weekend and that allowed three teams to climb past them, knocking them down to a No. 6 seed and a date with the Tigres in the quarterfinals. Not ideal, especially for a team that has not played a competitive match since No. 8.
8. Morelia (-2)
The Monarcas started the season 1-0-4 but were brought to life with the hiring of coach Pablo Guede before their Matchday 6 game, a 2-0 win over the Pumas that revived their fortunes.