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As coronavirus worries loom large, can Cruz Azul finally break title drought? – Latest Breaking News Updates

Somewhat over 4 months because the Liga MX’s 2020 Clausura was postponed and later canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the “2020 Guard1anes” season — named in homage to healthcare employees — was supposed to start out up on Thursday between Atletico San Luis and FC Juarez behind closed doorways.

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However, the league postponed that opening match late Wednesday because of a spate of positive coronavirus tests. Now the primary match of the season will happen on Friday evening between Necaxa and Tigres. In addition, Mazatlan FC‘s league debut towards Puebla will now happen on Monday.

Aside from the delay, what else has modified because the final time we noticed Liga MX in motion?

Since the spring days of Cruz Azul flying excessive and reigning champion Monterrey being mysteriously rooted to the underside of the desk, among the league’s massive headlines have been:

Got all that? So right here is what to anticipate from Mexico’s top-flight division when the ball will get rolling once more.

Jump to: Will coronavirus disrupt season? | New format to water down playoffs? | Can Cruz Azul stay on track?| High hopes for new club Mazatlan?| Which clubs are contenders? | What to make of Chivas, America? | Who are the players to watch?

Will coronavirus circumstances regularly disrupt the season?

As talked about above, it already has. The season opener scheduled for Thursday between San Luis and Juarez is scheduled now for Monday (pending additional check outcomes at Juarez). And there have been a slew of optimistic outcomes across the league inflicting nervousness in regards to the coming weeks and months.

Liga MX launched a 31-page document on its protocol to return amid the pandemic. It’s elaborate and detailed, but it surely hasn’t dissipated considerations.

Seven of the FC Juarez occasion scheduled to journey to San Luis examined optimistic; Necaxa introduced on Monday it has 5 optimistic circumstances in camp (one participant and 4 members of workers); Atlas have had 5 circumstances, with supervisor Rafa Puente admitting his workforce for the opener towards Tijuana will likely be completely different than he’d hoped; Chivas a complete of 4; three at Monterrey and one at Tigres. And these are simply over current days.

There have been optimistic circumstances at Mazatlan, Cruz Azul, Toluca and Santos Laguna, in addition to seven refereeing officers, in current weeks and months.

The protocol is designed to guard the gamers as a lot as potential and anybody displaying a optimistic check should isolate for 14 days. They will solely be cleared to play once more as soon as a detrimental consequence comes again.

But the fear is that there isn’t a bubble in Liga MX: the gamers will likely be touring up and down the nation in coming weeks, and the state of affairs with the virus in Mexico is not notably reassuring, with 6,859 confirmed cases and 915 reported deaths introduced on Tuesday alone.

How will adjustments to the playoffs and professional/rel have an effect on issues?

The new playoff system will see the highest 4 sides advance to the quarterfinals, whereas the No. 5 by No. 12 groups are seeded in a single elimination spherical. The new format will preserve extra golf equipment (and followers) by the later phases of the common season, too. There will likely be battles to get into the highest 4 and keep away from the play-in spherical, to ensure a membership is in fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth — securing a house recreation within the one-match playoff — after which a scramble to make the highest 12.

An period of austerity has gripped the Mexican recreation because the coronavirus outbreak, and this new system is designed to generate as a lot curiosity (and due to this fact earnings, particularly from TV) as potential. The draw back? That even mediocre groups, profitable maybe 5 of 17 common season video games, have a shot of creating the postseason. The change definitely fuels the thought in Mexico that just about any workforce can win the title, and once more deviates Liga MX away from the mannequin that has seen a small group of elite golf equipment dominate the highest European leagues.

And as for the professional/rel suspension: It wasn’t working anyway, with Chiapas the final workforce to get relegated again in 2017. The concern is that there isn’t a incentive for golf equipment to spend to keep away from relegation, though the counter-argument is that golf equipment is perhaps extra prepared to plan longer-term realizing there isn’t a menace of them shedding their Liga MX standing, even when the underside three finishers within the relegation desk can pay a effective.

Can Cruz Azul, Leon keep scorching following the stoppage?

There’s no purpose why not. Cruz Azul lifted the Copa por Mexico after defeating Chivas within the remaining and, whereas it was clearly a preseason event, La Maquina seemed good. The signing of Ignacio Rivero from Xolos provides depth in midfield and potential on the correct flank.

Cruz Azul boasts a mature squad, and coach Robert Siboldi has choices, though the earlier center-back Pablo Aguilar can come again from harm, the higher. Finally, Uruguayan playmaker Jonathan Rodriguez is a participant that European golf equipment are monitoring for a possible winter switch. It may finally be the season that the Mexico City membership snap their two-decade lengthy title drought and retire the infamous word that’s associated with it.

As for Leon, the CONCACAF Champions League loss to LAFC was an enormous blow forward of the break, however the membership sowed up a brand new deal for Costa Rica worldwide Joel Campbell and changed the losses of Ismael Sosa and Leo Ramos (who hasn’t but formally left) with Emmanuel Gigliotti. Leon and its attacking type below Ignacio “Nacho” Ambriz is about to entertain as soon as once more.

What can we count on from new membership Mazatlan?

If the preseason is something to go by, Mazatlan will trigger an enormous fuss off the sphere with its bold messaging — it is positively attempting to be an upstart — however will wrestle on it.

Pablo Puede impressed in Morelia’s remaining two seasons, however has set sail for a promising venture at Xolos, whereas new Mazatlan supervisor Paco Palencia will probably want time to get the workforce taking part in how he desires. Certainly, the preseason highlighted Mazatlan’s struggles in entrance of aim and in taking part in out from the again.

It is a disgrace that the franchise will likely be beginning life in Liga MX with out individuals in its brand-new stadium. The Sinaloa area’s vacationer vacation spot on the Pacific Coast will definitely convey a recent taste to Mexico’s first division.

Which golf equipment will likely be within the title combine?

My high eight contenders (so as) are: Tigres, Monterrey, Club America, Cruz Azul, Leon, Chivas, Santos Laguna and Tijuana.

The addition of playmaker Leo Fernandez at Tigres bodes very well, whereas rival Monterrey welcomes again Aviles Hurtado from harm and has signed Chile worldwide Sebastian Vegas to interchange Leonel Vangioni, in addition to Hugo Gonzalez in aim.

Monterrey might have completed final within the deserted Clausura, however they’re nonetheless the defending champions and arguably have one of the best squad within the league. Santos have seemed good below Guillermo Almada, though the long-term harm to their finest attacking participant Brian Lozano is a large blow.

Of the potential underdogs, Tijuana has added the gifted Pablo Guede as coach and bolstered its squad with younger Mexican Marcel Ruiz and goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco, whereas Atletico San Luis has additionally been one of many busier golf equipment within the switch market with Pablo Barrera and Mauro Quiroga including confirmed expertise to their ahead line.

It could be a shock if Puebla, Queretaro or Mazatlan made the highest 12, whereas Toluca and Atlas may additionally wrestle. Necaxa has made a behavior of coming into seasons with low expectations solely to struggle for the playoffs and as soon as once more the success of the “buy low, sell high” switch technique will make for fascinating viewing.

Are Chivas and America are set to problem?

Mexico’s two hottest golf equipment at all times enter every season with excessive expectations so as to add to their spectacular trophy case (Club America have 13 league titles, yet another than Chivas).

Luis Fernando Tena hasn’t completely received over everybody as far as Chivas coach, however the membership has a deep squad and may very well be preventing for a high 4 end. Watching the event of children Gilberto Sepulveda, Fernando Beltran and Jose Juan Macias will likely be attention-grabbing this season, though shedding Macias to a European membership on this window could be a big blow.

As for America, Miguel Herrera has to seek out solutions in central midfield and to get well from the lack of winger Renato Ibarra (on mortgage to Atlas). That mentioned, Herrera has confirmed greater than able to adapting in current seasons and Las Aguilas stay sturdy. If Herrera can get estranged Colombian Roger Martinez clicking, the workforce’s probabilities of success naturally improve.

Exciting gamers to look out for?

Leo Fernandez at Tigres seemed final season like he may play on the very high whereas on mortgage at Toluca, whereas these might be the final video games in Liga MX for Macias and America’s Francisco Cordova earlier than they transfer to Europe. It’s additionally fairly an enormous season for Monterrey’s Carlos Rodriguez. The 23-year-old has acquired the potential to be operating Mexico’s midfield on the subsequent two World Cups, however must preserve creating and attracting consideration from throughout the pond.

And if you happen to did not already, take time this season to understand 34-year-old Luis “Chapito” Montes. The Leon central midfielder’s profession could also be slowly beginning to wind down, however there are few gamers in North America that ooze class and exert as a lot affect over a workforce as Montes.

USMNT followers will wish to test in on Sebastian Saucedo, who confirmed good kind at Pumas final season and appears set to be an everyday.

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