América strengthens hold on first in Liga MX Power Rankings

Roger Martínez reacts after scoring the game-winner late in added time to give the Aguilas a 1-0 win over visiting Atlético de San Luis. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images)
Roger Martínez reacts after scoring the game-winner late in added time to give the Aguilas a 1-0 win over visiting Atlético de San Luis. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images) /
Liga MX Power Rankings 13
Rayados back-up goalie Luis Cárdenas barely had time to react before Elías Hernández’s rocket slammed into the net to give León its 1-0 win in their Liga MX match in Monterrey. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

América became the first No. 1 team to win since the Liga MX Power Rankings appeared after Matchday 8, solidifying its spot atop the latest rankings. That’s only appropriate as the Aguilas have a 6-point lead atop the league table.

The widening gap is revealed in the fact that the next five teams in last week’s rankings failed to win (you had to go down to León – at No. 7 – to find a winner on Matchday 13). With América so far ahead of the Liga MX field (with four games remaining in the regular season), this week’s list does not include a No. 2 team. Instead, we have a three-way tie for third.

León were the big movers this time round, climbing 4 spots after a hotly contested road win at Monterrey, while Atlas were the big losers, slipping 3 spots after an underwhelming performance in a 1-0 loss at Mazatlán FC.

Matchday 14 kicks off tonight so we won’t waste further time belaboring the woeful offensive showing over the weekend. As always, the figure in parentheses after the team name reflects the club’s movement related to last week’s Power Rankings.

Liga MX Power Rankings: Week 13

1. América (—)

The opportunistic Aguilas stole 3 points from visiting Atlético de San Luis thanks to a Roger Martínez solo effort in minute 90+5. The only negative? Mauro Lainez suffered a slight tear in his hamstring that could sideline the dangerous winger for more than a month.

3. León (+4)

The Esmeraldas handed Monterrey its first home loss of the season but not without a battle. Top scorer Angel Mena should be back in Wednesday’s starting line-up after returning late from South American qualifiers, but midfield quarterback Luis Montes might not return until November.

3. Monterrey (—)

The Rayados could not figure out how to beat León’s offside trap and saw two goals ruled out (correctly) for offside in a 1-0 home loss. Coach Javier Aguirre must find a way to get more production from his expensive attack force.

3. Tigres (+2)

The Tigres are slowly getting healthy as striker André-Pierre Gignac and playmakers Leo Fernández and Nico López were back on the pitch against Cruz Azul. That will surely help as Miguel Herrera is determined to guide his club into a Top 4 spot and a first-round playoff bye.

5. Atlas (–3)

The Zorros looked flat in Mazatlán and could have lost 3-0 to the Cañoneros, but for some shaky refereeing. Diego Cocca had “Los Rojinegros” playing well but a late-season slump (just one goal in the past three games, including two 1-0 losses) could force them to settle for a wildcard spot.

6. Toluca (–2)

Since handing América its lone loss of the season, the Diablos are 0-1-3, including two shut-out losses. Even so, Rubens Sambueza and the boys lead Liga MX in scoring (which is more of an indictment of the quality of offenses in Liga MX than a feather in the cap of Toluca). They must earn a “W” at home against lowly Necaxa Wednesday or risk a dramatic fall down the standings.

7. Atlético de San Luis (–1)

The Tuneros have been the surprise team of Liga MX, but they’ve hit the skids, failing to score in three straight games. They looked certain to escape Estadio Azteca with a point only to fall victim to a moment of brilliance from Roger Martínez. Atleti played its Matchday 14 game a month ago so Marcelo Méndez and his club can only fall in the standings.

8. Cruz Azul (—)

The Cementeros are just a shadow of the team that marched to the Liga MX title last season, and they are running out of time to rediscover their mojo. A win at Atlas would be a start.

9. Santos Laguna (—)

The Guerreros have a league-leading 7 draws (and just 2 losses), meaning they have left a lot of points on the field. Only América has fewer losses, but coach Guillermo Almada needs to coax a win out of his roster. And a visit to América is on tap tonight.

10. Pachuca (—)

The Tuzos have been sleepwalking through the Apertura 2021 and coach Paulo Pezzolano has been put on notice (more than once). Offseason acquisition Nico Ibáñez found the net for only the second time this season, so it’d be nice if he started to earn his money.

11. Guadalajara (+2)

The Chivas got their first win since changing coaches and the front office is leaking. The latest rumor is that Santos’ mad genius Guillermo Almada is on a short list to be their new coach.

12. Mazatlán FC (+2)

The Cañoneros looked impressive against Atlas the stingiest defense in Liga MX, but Mazatlán had little problem once Luis Reyes was red-carded in minute 17.

12. Puebla (–1)

The Camoteros somehow managed to escape Necaxa with all 3 points, reviving their playoff hopes. But beating the Rayos – the club with the most losses in Liga MX (8) – doesn’t earn a bump in these rankings.

14. FC Juárez (–2)

The Bravos were beginning to make believers out of the skeptics (alright, not really) after going 3-0-1 in September and opening October with a shocking 3-1 victory over Monterrey. But Sunday’s 1-0 loss at lowly UNAM has taken the air out of their playoff balloon.

15. UNAM (+2)

The Pumas played in front of their home fans for the first time in 19 months and provided a thrilling finish, scoring in minute 90+5 for just their second win of the season. But the 94 minutes before the goal reminded us why they are near the bottom of the Liga MX table.

16. Necaxa (–1)

The Rayos have a very promising young midfield, but their front line and their back line are simply terrible. If not for goalie Luis Malagón, Puebla would have scored 5 goals.

16. Querétaro (–1)

The Gallos Blancos just don’t have the talent to contend. Their offensive production is worst in Liga MX (7 goals in 13 matches) and Monterrey is coming to the Estadio Corregidora this afternoon.

dark. Next. Ansu Fati close to re-upping with Barça

18. Tijuana (—)

The Xolos are one of those rare teams where the sum of their parts does not equal the individual talents on the roster. New coach Sebastián Méndez must start preparing for next season as a loss to the Chivas on Wednesday could mathematically knock his club out of playoff contention.