Liga MX Road Warriors top Power Rankings

Bryan Angulo's first career goal for Cruz Azul boosted the Cementeros to a 1-0 road win over the defending champs, León. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images)
Bryan Angulo's first career goal for Cruz Azul boosted the Cementeros to a 1-0 road win over the defending champs, León. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Power Rankings 8
Luis Romo and Cruz Azul handed León its second home loss of the season, putting the champs behind the 8 ball in their title defense. (Photo by HECTOR HERNANDEZ/AFP via Getty Images) /

Liga MX fans are surely giddy over this mid-season marathon: 27 games in 12 days.

League schedule-makers telescoped Matchdays 8, 9 and 10 by squeezing in midweek games providing a real test for all the squads. Coaches must manage players’ minutes while weighing multiple roster-juggling possibilities.

Nine points are at stake during this “doble jornada” and a team’s fortunes could be made or lost. Coaches must chase points without overtaxing players. After all, there are still seven games remaining. Even so, by March 8 we might be able to separate the pretenders from the contenders

With Matchday 9 set to kick off on Tuesday afternoon, brevity – with regard to the Liga MX Power Rankings – is the best course of action. After all, we’ll be expected to produce new Power Rankings after the nine games in a 54-hour period through Thursday.

Welcome to the Liga MX version of March Madness!

So, let’s get right at it. Matchday 8 saw Cruz Azul stretch its win streak to six games by handing León its fourth loss of the season. Those facts are reflected in the rankings below: the Cementeros top our list for the second straight week, while the defending champs are mired in 13th.

The other finalist from last season – the Pumas – are even lower on this list after suffering their fifth loss of the season. That right there is a shocking turnaround from the Guardianes 2020. The Pumas lost but one game last season (the same as León, in fact).

The Chivas are another member of the Big Four in the bottom half of our rankings and the Liga MX table. They did beat the Pumas on Sunday but their capacity for underachieving is evidenced by the fact that the 2-1 win over UNAM was their first home win this season.

Our rankings roughly parallel the actual standings with a few exceptions and don’t differ too much from the inaugural rankings last week.

Puebla is rewarded for its fine recent form while Tijuana is docked for being winless in its last two. The lower spots in the table held by the Regio powerhouses – Monterrey and Tigres – can be explained by the fact they each have a game in hand. The same is true for champions León (and FC Juárez).

And the Mazatlán-Querétaro flip-flop here is self-explanatory – Mazatlán destroyed the Gallos Blancos 3-0 on Friday night.

With key battles on the Tuesday-through-Thursday slate, look for the next Liga MX Power Rankings on Saturday … just in time for Matchday 10!

1. Cruz Azul

Record: 6-0-2    18 points

Cruz Azul has four shut-outs on the season after blanking the champs in León. The Cementeros already have 12 points away from home and are playing top-notch soccer. Nervous fans are starting to believe again.

2. América

Record: 5-1-2    16 points

The Aguilas bounced back from the “clerical error” that cost them 3 points last week, easing past a listless Pachuca team. They know a visit to the Xolos’ dog pound in Tijuana requires greater efficiency.