Aguilas top first Liga MX Power Rankings of season

Coach Santiago Solari has América in first place but the always-demanding Aguilas fans want more. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Coach Santiago Solari has América in first place but the always-demanding Aguilas fans want more. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
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León skipper Luis Montes is set to return for the Esmeraldas after missing a month with a thigh strain. (Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

With seven matchdays in the books (minus Atlético de San Luis-Pachuca, postponed from Week 5) and league play set to resume following a busy FIFA break, it’s the perfect time to launch our first Liga MX Power Rankings.

A few teams – especially Monterrey and Cruz Azul – will suffer a bit heading into Matchday 8 as several Rayados and Cementeros played heavy minutes in World Cup qualifiers. And unlike the previous three qualifying rounds, this version of El Tri relied primarily on Liga MX personnel. Only five “European” players made Tata Martino’s roster in this just-completed cycle.

After a raggedy start to the Apertura 2021 (34 players missed two to four weeks of Liga MX play while on duty with two separate El Tri teams), clubs should be settling into a style while coaches should be familiar with roster depth and establishing rotation patterns. I emphasize the words “should be.”

We’re well into the back stretch already and we’ll be heading into the final turn by the time the October FIFA break rolls around (after Matchday 13, of 17). Liga MX teams still have two weeks to finalize their rosters, but we should be (those words again) able to formulate solid opinions about performance and expectations.

América tops inaugural Liga MX Power Rankings

Just a quick reminder … this exercise is not meant to predict the order of finish in the Liga MX table. The Playing for 90 Liga MX Power Rankings are a comparative evaluation of a team’s current standing in the league, taking into account recent performance, injuries and player availability.

1. América         

17 points, 5-2-0 record, +7 goal differential

One of three undefeated Liga MX teams, the Aguilas are playing with ruthless efficiency. Spoiled fans might want coach Solari to add flair to the offense, and once Henry Martín and Sebastián Córdova settle back in after the Olympics, they might get what they want.

2. León            

14 points, 4-2-1 record, +4 goal differential

The Esmeraldas suffered a 4-0 rout in the opener, but have since adapted to new coach Ariel Holan’s system with aplomb. Much of their current 6-game unbeaten streak has come without the help of midfield maestro Luis Montes who is expected back this weekend just in time to face the Tigres.

3. Tigres  

12 points, 3-3-1 record, +5 goal differential

Miguel Herrera has been mixing and matching his line-up due to injuries (the team physio is getting raked over the coals). Igniting the shorthanded Tigres has been Nico “Diente” López who leads Liga MX with 6 goals. Star striker André-Pierre Gignac – sidelined with a gimpy ankle – could make his season debut this weekend against León.

4. Toluca        

14 points, 4-2-1 record, +3 goal differential

The Diablos are a powder keg on offense but suspect on defense, and last week “Los Choriceros” lost central defender Miguel Barbieri to a season-ending injury during an exhibition game. Skipper Rubens Sambueza (4 goals, 4 assists) is making a bid for MVP votes at 37 years of age.