Hot Stove League, Liga MX-style: Part 1

Carlos González has changed his stripes from Pumas to Tigres. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
Carlos González has changed his stripes from Pumas to Tigres. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Hot Stove League 1
Former Manchester United skipper Antonio Valencia will play with the Gallos Blancos in the upcoming season. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Ex-United captain joins Liga MX; second acts on tap

It was easy to overlook the news out of Querétaro in November as Liga MX headed into the playoffs. The Gallos Blancos captured the signature of long-time Manchester United player Antonio Valencia.

The former United captain spent the past two years playing back home in Ecuador with LDU of Quito. His was the third new signing for the Gallos Blancos who are looking to forget the disastrous Guardianes 2020 campaign.

Omar Mendoza and Jefferson Montero had already committed to Querétaro before Valencia and they’ll provide the minnows with some veteran savvy. Mendoza, 32, is a late bloomer who spent the past three years with the Xolos of Tijuana. He will provide depth and leadership at left back.

Montero, 31, returns to Liga MX after spending most of the past 6 years in Europe (Swansea City and Getafe). The Ecuadorian forward helped Monarcas Morelia win a Copa MX trophy back in 2013, scoring 15 goals during his two years in Michoacán.

Another Ecuadorian, Fidel Martínez, is also returning to Liga MX. The flashy winger has signed with the Xolos hoping to replicate the success he had in Tijuana. Known as “The Ecuadorian Neymar,” Martínez scored 21 times for the Xolos in 2 years with the club. He was a key member of the team that Antonio Mohamed led to a Liga MX title in the Apertura 2012 season. Martínez also played for Pumas and Atlas before heading home to South America for the past 3 years.

Also joining the Xolos is Colombian Mauro Manotas, long a target of América while he was starring with MLS club Houston Dynamo. Manotas had a down year in 2020 with the Dynamo, but the 25-year-old striker is considered a good prospect.

dark. Next. Tigres win 1st international title

Manotas and Martínez will step into spots vacated by striker Bryan Angulo and winger Mauro Lainez. Angulo was set to return to Cruz Azul as his loan deal expired but he has been caught up in a murder investigation in his native Ecuador. Lainez was sold to América after enjoying a break-out year with the Xolos.