Looks like it’s time to say ‘Ciao, Memo’; Montes to Espanyol

No, Guillermo Ochoa is not practicing for bocci ball but the México goalkeeper appears headed to Italy to join Salernitana. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
No, Guillermo Ochoa is not practicing for bocci ball but the México goalkeeper appears headed to Italy to join Salernitana. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /
Liga MX departures
Guillermo Ochoa (lft) and César Montes (right) are preparing to depart Liga MX for Europe, Ochoa to Serie A and Montes to LaLiga. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Just two weeks before the Liga MX season kicks off and suddenly it appears that América might be looking for a new goalie.

First-choice Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa is on the verge of signing with Serie A club Salernitana, declining the new contract offer extended by the Aguilas.

This might actually cause problems for some other Liga MX franchise, however, as América has been snooping around for an alternative netminder.

The longer that contract talks dragged on, the more persistent the Aguilas became with preparing for life after Memo.

Looking for a younger ‘portero’?

Two goalies considered to be candidates to replace Ochoa on the national team would appear to be potential targets for América.

Necaxa’s Luis Malagón is being linked to the Mexico City giants and the 25-year-old Michoacán native has the pedigree to fill Memo’s shoes. Malagón started his Liga MX career in his home state with Monarcas de Morelia, debuting in a Copa MX match in early 2016. He joined Necaxa in 2020 and has been their undisputed starter since.

Malagón also helped Mexico’s Under-23 team qualify for the Tokyo Olympics before giving up his starting spot to – you guessed it – Memo Ochoa.

Santos Laguna captain Carlos Acevedo is another keeper on América’s short list. Acevedo, 26, is considered by many to be the heir apparent to Ochoa in the El Try starting line-up.

The Coahuila native came up through the Santos system, learning from the likes of legendary Mexico goalie Oswaldo Sánchez before taking the full-time job in 2020 and leading the Guerreros to the Liga MX Final during his first year in between the posts.

If América does make a move then either Necaxa or Santos Laguna might be scrambling to come up with a new No. 1 heading into the upcoming Liga MX season.

And it certainly seems that the Aguilas will look to bring in a young netminder even though some pundits consider it unnecessary.

Many Liga MX-watchers believe América has the best back-up goalie in the league in Oscar Jiménez and the 34-year-old has been a fantastic substitute in recent seasons. Jiménez is on record as saying he wants to start if Ochoa departs and insists he will demand a trade if a new goalie is brought in.

This will bear watching as the new season approaches.

‘El Cachorro’ leaving Liga MX for La Liga

Six months after a move to Europe fell apart, Monterrey and México defender César Montes is poised to join Espanyol.

Montes had agreed to contract terms with Dynamo Moscow but the deal came crashing down partly because the Russian club was unable to guarantee payment to the 25-year-old back-liner (as well as buyout fees it would owe to Monterrey) due to currency restrictions related to sanctions imposed on that country for its invasion of Ukraine.

Next. Catching up with the Copa por México. dark

Now “El Cachorro” is on his way to Spain after the Rayados agreed to terms on a loan deal that would allow the Barcelona-based club to purchase the defender’s contract after the current season.