Daily Archives: July 16, 2012
Friday night marks the kickoff of the Mexican liga MX. Although the Liga MX may not be the most popular league to the average American soccer fan, but it is certainly worth paying attention to. I am going to provide to you a Gringo’s guide to Liga MX that will include; reasons why you should watch, what teams to follow , and notable opening weekend games.
The Mexican league is a great league that is often underrated and overlooked. It offers up a high quality play that talented players. A lot like the MLS the league is very unpredictable and it is a toss up every year. Often the winner of the Apertura (first championship) is not the winner of the Clausura (second championship).
Why you should watch:
1. No Thy Enemy: Mexico is The US’s biggest rival it can not hurt to understand the league and understand the players. This is not just an international affair, MLS clubs battle Liga MX clubs in Champions league. I have gained a lot of respect for El Tri since I started following F.M.F.
2. Attractive Style of Play: Expect an opened, free flowing style with box to box end to end action. The game is very easy on the eyes.The passion runs deep with the players and it shows on the pitch. The theatrics of the coaches helps create a great show. Next time your watching Club America watch Miguel Herra, he is always good for a laugh or two.
3. Its Always on: Liga MX is covered by more then a handful of Spanish speaking TV stations. Telemundo, Galavision, Univision, Telefutura and Azteca America just to name a few. Every weekend you will be hit with a bevy of games. If you happen to be bored and looking for some footy Liga MX will be on.
4. The Colorful Announcers: Mexican League Announcers are some of the more colorful and vibrant ones in the business. Andres Cantor and Pablo Ramirez both offer up unique and entertaining styles of commentary. You may not understand the language but you can understand the passion.
5. Americans in Mexico: One of the biggest if not the biggest factors is the American connection. A handful of young American’s working their way up the youth systems in Mexico. Plus you get to see players like Demarcus Beasley and Joe Corona. Not to mention Herculez Gomez who is currently the hottest American striker.
Teams with Americans on them:
Tijuana Xolos: Greg Garza, Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo.
Santos Laguna: Herculez Gomez.
Santos Laguna: Michael Orozco Fiscal.
Pachuca: Paco Torres
Jaguares de Chiapas: Dereck Mckuper, and Adrian Ruelas.
Chivas: Ponce (Okay so he isnst American but he was born the USA.
Atlante: Sonny Guadarrama
Opening Weekend Games to watch:
Tijuana v Puebla: One of the first games to watch has an interesting USMNT twist. Former USMNT start DeMarcus Beasley going against up and coming star Joe Corona. The Xolos are entering their second season in the top flight and going against Puebla who have become a staple in FMF/Liga MX. Expect some creative midfield work with an uptempo pace.
Atlas v UNAM: I am a big UNAM fan so naturally I have to put them in. Pumas will be taking on Atlas and I know not many people see this as a big match considering the mid table finishes last year by both teams. Pumas has some explosive like Martin Bravo and some young and exciting players like Javier Cortes and Eduardo Herrera.
Santos v San Luis: Santos look to keep the trophies coming as they kick off the season against San Luis who finished 16th last season. This game is great opportunity to watch Gomez apply his trade against a team that let in the second most in the Clausura. Sit back and watch Herculez and the Saints go to work.
All in all I am just a gringo who loves USMNT and the Philadelphia Union. Prior to the Union in my down time I experimented with other teams and leagues. During my experimentation phase I found out that, Liga MX is great league, and highly underrated. After weeks of watching Pumas I found myself ordering a cheap jersey religiously watching every game that was on TV. The language barrier is a bit cumbersome but makes it fun. If anything start watching for the Americans and you will eventually learn to love the league.
On July 25th thousands of MLS fans will file into PPL park to watch as the MLS All Stars take on Chelsea FC. For Union fans, it was questionable if they would be able to watch one of their own play against the London giant but this question was answered on Sunday as the Commissioner’s two picks for the All Star team were release. Don Garber choose two defenders: Ramiro Corrales of the San Jose Earthquakes and our very own Carlos Valdes.
Valdes is coming of an amazing game against the Montreal Impact where he not only put in a stellar defensive performance but also went on to score the winning goal in extra time off a Sheanon Williams long throw. As of now it is still unknown if the Philadelphia Union captain will be starting as he will have to beat out other talented defenders like New York’s Heath Pearce and Whitecap’s Jay DeMerit.
I believe there is a good possibility of Valdes getting on the starting eleven for the MLS All Stars. He is a talented center back with the ability to communicate well and also hold good positions. He has been extremely consistent all season and has come up huge when called upon by the Union. If put on the pitch, Carlos Valdez will be tested against players like Fernando Torres and newly signed Eden Hazard.