After two decades of coming so close to another title, Cruz Azul looks like contenders for title 9.
After a slow start to the season, Cruz Azul is in the first-place position in the standings as of week 8. After losing to Atlas 2-1 in week 1, and being bullied by Atletico San Luis the following week 2-1 they turned it around. America has been in the super leader position and as has Leon, but Cruz Azul has jumped the pack.
With second-place America’s best players injured and having to rely on U-20’s to play as starters. Leon losing against Chivas and dropping to 3rd place this past weekend plus losing midweek to MLS club LAFC knocking them out of CONCACAF Champions League, La Maquina can keep the momentum going.
The standout for Cruz Azul this far into the season has to be their Uruguayan striker Jonathan Rodriguez who currently leads the league in scoring at 7 goals, along with goalkeeper Jesus Corona who has seen a resurgence lately.
When former Veracruz and National Team keeper Sebastian Jurado arrived in Mexico City a lot of predictions stated that Jesus Corona would lose his starting job and would be pressured having the young and bright Sebastian Jurado lurking in his shadow, but Corona other than a performance or two has been solid. It goes to show why he wears that captain band.
Their next match against Tijuana this week 9 is important but the week after in week 10 will determine everything for La Maquina. Cruz Azul takes on America in the Clasico Joven for most likely the top spot in Liga MX as both are currently in the 1 and 2 positions.
America, as mentioned earlier, has been hit with bad injuries to key players as Nicolas Castillo, Renato Ibarra, Nicolas Bendetti, Bruno Valdez, Santiago Caseres, Roger Martinez, and that’s only naming a few. Forcing them to call up youth players and pressuring America coach Miguel Herrera to still make his team perform which he has handled amazingly.
Week 9 & week 10 will be indicators if Cruz Azul is ready for Liguilla play and if they should be taken seriously or not. Last October they showed America in regular-season play by giving them a 5-2 beat down and America has not forgotten. If Cruz Azul can perform how they need to under pressure then that can be a huge sign that a championship is in the cards, but until then they have to focus on their objective weekly and focus on getting into Liguilla most importantly whether that be in the first place or last place.