All three capital clubs scrambling to overhaul rosters

Diego Valdés and America came up short in their quest for Liga MX hardware last season. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Diego Valdés and America came up short in their quest for Liga MX hardware last season. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /
Liga MX capital Big 3 reload
Cruz Azul and UNAM are reloading this summer as they aim to make some headlines in the upcoming Liga MX season. (Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

All three Mexico City teams made the Liga MX playoffs last season, but postseason success was not in the cards.

América stormed down the stretch to claim the No. 4 seed but was humbled by top-seeded Pachuca in the semifinals.

Cruz Azul underachieved all season and came up short in a winnable quarterfinals series against the Tigres.

The Pumas scratched and clawed their ways into the playoffs on the final day of the season, but bowed out meekly in the wildcard match.

Determined to chase Liga MX glory

The teams in the nation’s capital comprise three-fourths of the Liga MX Big Four and their nationwide fan bases expect – nay demand – success. There was little of that last season, though UNAM’s run to the Concacaf Champions League final was unexpected though it was dampened by the 5-2 rout handed to the Pumas by Seattle Sounders.

América found itself in the Liga MX cellar after Matchday 9 before making its late-season charge, the only thing accomplished was that management was convinced interim coach Fernando Ortiz should stay on.

The Aguilas are desperate to improve offensive production from the front line but so far they have little to show for it.

Chile’s Colo Colo turned down an offer for promising 21-year-old Argentine forward Pablo Solari and inquiries into the availability of Julián Quiñones (star forward for Liga MX champion Atlas) and winger Germán Berterame (Liga MX Golden Boot winner two seasons ago) have gone nowhere.

For now, América has been reduced to giving a tryout to former wunderkind Juergen Damm who emerged from the Pachuca academy with such promise. The speedy 29-year-old washed out with Atlanta United in MLS after failing to fulfill his potential with the Tigres where he played a supporting role on four Liga MX title-winning sides. Damm has not been guaranteed a spot on the Aguilas roster.

When last season started, Cruz Azul was in the debate for most-talented Liga MX roster but the Cementeros failed to click and coach Juan Reynoso took the blame. He’s gone now, a mere 13 months after leading “La Máquina” to a Liga MX title and Diego Aguirre is in his place.

The new manager is still evaluating the team’s roster, while OKing the departure of four players, the most significant being veteran defenders Pablo Aguilar (35) and Adrián Aldrete (33).

Aguirre will continue to work with the front office identifying the players he needs to imprint his style on the team. One such player appears to be 24-year-old Paraguayan wingback Santiago Arzamendia who would fill the slot vacated by Aldrete.

Earlier this week, Record sports daily reported that Cruz Azul was in talks with 22-year-old defender Roberto Fernández who plays for Paraguay’s Guaraní and his country’s Under-23 team.

Across town at the CU, the Pumas didn’t waste any time, jettisoning five players, including three starters – goalie Alfredo Talavera (acquired by FC Juárez), right back Alan Mozo (sold to Chivas) and leading scorer Rogeiro de Oliveira (released).

Coming onto campus are goalie Gil Alcalá (Tijuana), playmaking midfielder César Huerta (Chivas), the aforementioned Aldrete (Cruz Azul) and Argentine forward Gustavo del Petre.

Next. Talavera moves to border, Aldrete crosses town. dark

With less than three weeks remaining before the Apertura 2022 kicks off, you can bet these storied Liga MX franchises are not done trading.