Cementeros top first Liga MX Power Rankings

Cruz Azul players celebrate after defeating Toluca to displace the Diablos Rojos atop the Liga MX table. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Cruz Azul players celebrate after defeating Toluca to displace the Diablos Rojos atop the Liga MX table. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Power Rankings 1
Ángel Mena (right) scored León’s only goal against UNAM on Sunday but it was enough for the champs to get their second victory of the season. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /

Defending Liga MX champs barely climb into Top 10

5. Tijuana  (3-3-1, 12 points, +3)

The Xolos were hit with their first loss of the season on Sunday, falling behind the Tigres 3-0 before clawing back late to make the final result respectable. Coach Pablo Guede finally seems to have imprinted his style in Tijuana after his inaugural campaign in charge produced a 4-3-10 record and the Xolos could match their win total from last season this weekend. But they’ll have to defeat Monterrey to do so. No easy task.

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5. Santos  (3-3-1, 12 points, +3)

The Guerreros suffered their first setback of the season at San Luis on Friday night, but the hurt goes much deeper as defender Félix Torres claims he was the victim of a racist insult from a Tuneros player. While Liga MX investigates the allegations, Santos coach Guillermo Almada must try to get his men to re-focus. “Los Laguneros” have struggled to generate offense after trading Julio Furch in the offseason and playmaker Brian Lozano will be absent a few more months after requiring another surgical procedure on the broken leg that saw him miss all last season.

7. Tigres  (3-1-2, 10 points, +1)

After a stellar performance at the Club World Cup saw the Tigres reach the final – a first for a Liga MX squad – the Tigres suffered a letdown versus Cruz Azul on Matchday 6. This past weekend, coach “Tuca” Ferretti watched his team jump out to a quick lead but surely lamented the return of last season’s bugaboo – conceding goals late in games. Still, the 3-2 win over Tijuana has the Tigres in the upper half of the table with a game in hand.

8. León  (2-1-3, 7 points, –3)

The champs were slow to recover from their championship hangover, getting off to a terrible start this season. Injuries have also contributed to the lack of explosiveness. Coach Ignacio Ambriz finally had his first-choice line-up available for Sunday’s contest – a rematch of the Finals against the Pumas – and the Esmeraldas snared an important road win while showing flashes of their championship form. Fitness remains an issue though but the schedule waits for no one. Cruz Azul is up next.

9. Atlético de San Luis  (3-1-3, 10 points, +2)

The Tuneros have been playing quite well under new coach Leonel Rocco but it remains to be seen how the accusations of racism impact the club. If the investigation incriminates one of their players, a penalty is bound to be severe and it could wreck the team’s momentum. Even if the team is cleared of the charge, there is bound to be some fallout.

10. Puebla  (2-3-2, 9 points, +3)

New coach Nicolás Lacarmón has the Camoteros punching well above their weight. “La Franja” defeated Cruz Azul, played Monterrey to a scoreless draw and held their own against América at Estadio Azteca. Puebla has lowly Necaxa next but then will test their mettle at León on Matchday 9 followed three days later by a visit from the Tigres.