Liga MX Power Rankings: Ameríca returns to top spot

Richard Sánchez and América returned to the top of the Playing for 90 Liga MX Power Rankings.(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Richard Sánchez and América returned to the top of the Playing for 90 Liga MX Power Rankings.(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX Power Rankings 12
No. 8 Cruz Azul hosts the fifth-ranked Tigres in a critical Liga MX match this weekend. (Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Defending Liga MX champs lagging behind

5. Tigres (—)

Miguel Herrera’s team used the FIFA break to get healthy. Striker André-Pierre-Gignac could feature as a sub against Cruz Azul on Saturday, while top scorer Nico López is back after a stint on injury row. Winger Javier Aquino is also expected to be available against his former team.

6. Atlético de San Luis (—)

The Tuneros continue to surprise Liga MX pundits, making a serious bid to claim home-field advantage in the wildcard round. After finishing dead last a season ago, Atleti and rookie coach Marcelo Méndez have snuck up on a few teams this season. Next up is América and a chance to take stock of where they stand.

7. León (—)

The Esmeraldas have been wildly inconsistent, only occasionally flashing the explosiveness of seasons past. León’s last league win came back on Aug. 18 (a 3-0 triumph at Guadalajara) and they are in desperate need of points. Four of their regulars have South American qualifiers on Thursday, just two days before the Monterrey match.

8. Cruz Azul (—)

The reigning Liga MX champs have struggled to find the magic of last season, and coach Juan Reynoso has been unable to settle upon a favorable line-up as injuries and fatigue have really taken a toll. Six of his players are out on international duty this week and the Tigres are coming to town on Saturday.

9. Santos Laguna (+1)

Coach Guillermo Aldama has found another gem in the club’s academy system (Jordan Carrillo), but his front-line performers (Brian Lozano, Juan Otero and Diego Valdés) have failed to produce. Newcomer Alessio da Cruz has been a pleasant surprise in attack, and injured goalie Carlos Acevedo (out six weeks with a shoulder injury) was back in training this week.

10. Pachuca (+2)

The Tuzos got red-hot down the stretch last season and they might need to replicate that performance to save coach Paulo Pezzolano’s job. A win at home against Santos Laguna would be a start, or the front office could launch a quick coaching search come November.

11. Puebla (–2)

The Camoteros have had trouble replacing the production of the departed Santiago Ormeño and Omar Fernández (both now with León) though they remain among the toughest Liga MX underdogs.