First change at top of Liga MX Power Rankings

Monterrey appears to be hitting its stride as the Liga MX season approaches the stretch run. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Monterrey appears to be hitting its stride as the Liga MX season approaches the stretch run. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
Liga MX Rankings 11
Atlas was building up a nice résumé as the “Clásico Tapatío” drew near, but visiting Puebla threw a spanner in the works, stunning the Zorros 1-0. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images) /

Only seven of nine Matchday 11 contests are in the books (the other two postponed until November), but with Matchday 12 due to kick off tonight with a double-header, there’s no choice to be hoist up a new set of Power Rankings.

Also new is the team sitting in the No. 1 spot. After topping each of the first three Liga MX Power Rankings, América’s three-game winless streak is enough to knock the Aguilas out of their lofty perch. In their place – the Rayados of Monterrey whose 20 points are still 2 behind América, but Javier Aguirre’s side is playing the best football in Liga MX right now.

In its past three games, Monterrey has victimized genuine playoff contenders – Tigres, Santos and Toluca. Since defender Héctor Moreno returned to fitness, “El Vasco” switched to a 5-man back line that allows Jesús Gallardo (left back) and Stefan Medina (right back) greater freedom to venture up the flanks and join the attack.

Elsewhere, there was not much movement (the Tigres were the only club to move more than one spot) though when the league resumes after the upcoming October FIFA break, expect the frantic stretch-run push for playoff spots to shake up these rankings considerably.

Playing for 90 Liga MX Power Rankings: Matchday 11

Let’s get right to it. Matchday 12 is soon under way so there’s not much time to absorb the M11 rankings. As always, the figure inside parentheses after each team indicates that club’s movement as compared to the previous rankings.

1. Monterrey (+1)

Are the Rayados peaking too early? They’ve exhibited smooth offensive efficiency and featured a multitude of scorers making it hard for Liga MX defense to focus a specific threat. Making optimal use of his deep bench, “El Vasco” has settled into a comfortable line-up rotation.

2. America (–1)

Despite leading the league with 22 points from 11 matches, coach Santi Solari is in hot water as the Aguilas have (gasp!) gone winless in three straight contests. The all-important “Clásico Capitalino” looms and the Pumas would love to provoke a media-fanned front office crisis.

3. Atlas (—)

The Zorros were expected to enter the “Clásico Tapatío” on a 7-game unbeaten streak only to stumble at home against 10-man Puebla. Atlas fans are hoping that was just a fluke.

4. Toluca (—)

The Diablos Rojos are obligated to take all 3 points at home against Querétaro on Sunday or whispers about another late-season swoon will be unavoidable.

5. Tigres (+3)

I downgraded the Tigres in the M10 Rankings because of their lengthy injury list, but they did not appear short-handed as they dismantled Atlético de San Luis on Wednesday.

6. Atlético de San Luis (–1)

The Tuneros were just about to add substance to their Cinderalla playoff bid but instead got routed by the visiting Tigres. A visit to a León team that entered the Apertura 2021 as a title favorite could provide evidence that the glass slipper doesn’t fit.

7. León (–1)

The Esmeraldas’ M11 match was postponed since Cruz Azul was laying an egg in the Campeones Cup so “La Fiera” has been forced to endure a week of the bad taste left by the 2-0 stinker at Atlas in their previous Liga MX outing.

8. Cruz Azul (–1)

The Cementeros have just one win in their past eight matches and dreams of a repeat are fast dissipating. A visit to last-place Tijuana should help.

9. Puebla (+1)

The Camoteros shocked Liga MX pundits by stealing all 3 points from Estadio Jalisco after going down to 10 men in minute 30. Christian Tabó’s individual effort just before halftime turned out to be the difference. This tea just has no quit in it.

10. Santos Laguna (–1)

The Guerreros seem like a shell of the team that reached the Liga MX finals last season. Coach Guillermo Almada needs to find someone who can put the ball in the net.

11. Guadalajara (–1)

The Chivas can’t get out of their own way. All the positive energy produced by the first-half showing in the “Super Clásico” was wasted by a frenetic and sloppy loss to last-place Querétaro. A loss to city rivals Atlas Saturday would be disastrous.

12. Pachuca (—)

The Tuzos front office have made clear to coach Paulo Pezzolano that nothing but a win against Puebla will guarantee that he’ll still have a job after the FIFA break.

13. Mazatlán FC (+1)

The Cañoneros continued their inconsistent season with an impressive 3-1 win over FC Juárez, their first victory since starting the season 2-0-0 back in July.

14. FC Juárez (–1)

The Bravos visited Mazatlán with a modest three-game win streak but failed to put up a fight.

15. Querétaro (—)

The Gallos slogged their way to a 1-0 victory over the Chivas in a rain-drenched game delayed 50 minutes by a lightning storm. It was just their second win of the season and it lifted them out of the Liga MX cellar.

16. Necaxa (—)

The Rayos cut short a 4-game losing streak but since the win came against a terrible Tijuana team, well … let’s see how new coach Pablo Guede does in his debut on the road against the Tigres.

17. UNAM (+1)

The Pumas has their M11 game postponed so they will be well-rested for the “Clásico Capitalino,” the 119th regular-season Pumas-América clash. And clash is often the operative word in this bitterly contested Mexico City derby.

Unpredictability is watchword for Liga MX season. dark. Next

18. Tijuana (–1)

The Xolos have tumbled into last place and their 1-4-6 record (with a –11 goal differential) cost Robert Siboldi his job. The less said the better.