Loss of offensive production hurts Pumas in 2019
Several players experienced a marked decrease in production, earning their way on to the Pumas’ transfer list. Left back Jeison Angulo, 23, is already gone. The Colombian did not impress in his six-month loan spell and he has returned to Deportivo Cali.
Others expected to be shipped out are defender Alan Mendoza, midfielders David Cabrera and Juan Iturbe and part-time captain Víctor Malcorra. Mendoza played poorly in both seasons in 2019, while age seems to have caught up to Cabrera, 30, and Malcorra, 32. Iturbe has flashed talent but was not happy as a super-sub and has been looking for a way out of the CU since the summer. He’ll likely get his wish by January with a return home to Paraguay likely (perhaps Cerro Porteño).
More from Viva Liga MX
- Guillermo Ochoa is out 4-6 weeks
- The Clásico Regiomontano is Heating Up
- Pumas: In Search of Regaining a Top Spot
- Why the United States Is Set to Overtake Mexico on the World Stage
- Erick Gutierrez is out once again
But it’s the offense that needs the help. The Pumas were the third-best defense in Liga MX last season (20 goals allowed in 18 games), but averaged a puny 1.16 goals per game during the Apertura 2019. Slow first halves (only 4 of their 21 goals came before halftime) were also a problem.
Carlos González was top scorer for the Pumas in the Apertura 2019 (7 goals), but he often played as a single striker. He campaigned for a partner up front but coach “Michel” preferred a 5-man midfield as his other options came up short.
The first choice forward off the bench was Felipe Mora but he struggled to rediscover the form he displayed a year ago when he led UNAM with 9 goals. He scored only 6 goals in the Clausura 2019 and the Apertura 2019 combined.
Summer signing Martín Barragán is on the transfer list after failing to impress and GM Ramírez is fielding offers for Chilean forward Martín Rodríguez.
The Pumas are rumored to be looking at winger Jesús Isijara and forward Andrés Andrade, both of Atlas. This might suggest Mora’s spot with the team is secure and he’ll be given another season to find his form.