Chivas, Cementeros repeat in Copa por México final

Cruz Azul and the Chivas will vie for the 2022 Copa for México trophy tonight in Guadalajara. The Liga MX season begins next weekend. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
Cruz Azul and the Chivas will vie for the 2022 Copa for México trophy tonight in Guadalajara. The Liga MX season begins next weekend. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /
Liga MX Copa Vega
Alexis Vega started all three games for El Tri at the 2022 World Cup, attracting some attention from European clubs. Vega, however, has decided to remain in Liga MX with the Chivas. (Photo by Khalil Bashar/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Liga MX preseason activities drawing to a close

The second edition of the Copa por México will end the same was as the first one … with Guadalajara and Cruz Azul squaring off for preseason bragging rights.

The first tournament was held in the summer of 2020 with eight clubs in two groups (this year’s version featured 10 Liga MX teams, also in two groups) and the Cementeros came out on top thanks to a stoppage-time penalty.

Two years ago, “La Máquina Azul” coasted through the group stage with a perfect record (3-0-0) before edging past Tigres in a penalty shootout in the semifinals.

This time around, there was no semifinal stage and the Chivas are the ones with the perfect record (4-0-0).

With the Liga MX season a week away, both teams will likely open with first-choice line-ups as much as possible but expect both coaches to substitute liberally in the second half as teams are allowed to make seven changes.

The game kicks off at Estadio Akron – Guadalajara’s home field – at 8 pm local time.

Vega rejects move to Europe

Guadalajara and Team Mexico winger Alexis Vega revealed that he had turned aside two offers to play in Europe, explaining that the clubs – which he did not reveal – were only offering six-month “prove-it contracts.”

The 25-year-old Mexico City native opted not to take on the challenge and will remain in Liga MX, hoping to play well enough to attract better offers in the summer.

Wags immediately pointed at Vega as the poster child for Mexican players who prefer the easy money of Liga MX instead of heading to Europe where initial wages are lower and adapting to a new league and tougher competition can be difficult to take on.

These same critics pointed to Guillermo Ochoa who accepted a six-month contract to play with Serie A club Salernitana with the notion of landing a deal with another club in Europe next summer. Ochoa – El Tri’s starting goalie in the past three World Cups – also announced he intended to remain active in hopes of earning a spot on Mexico’s 2026 World Cup roster. Ochoa will turn 41 10 days after the 2026 tournament is scheduled to end.

Super Tuzos architect returns to Liga MX

Andrés Fassi is returning to Mexico to lead the FC Juárez front office. His task will not be easy as the struggling Bravos have resided near the bottom of the league table for several seasons now.

Fassi was heavily involved in building the Pachuca team that enjoyed so much success in the early 2000s and returns as general manager.

After a stint as head trainer with the Cd. Juárez Cobras and a similar position with Necaxa in the mid-90s, Fassi teamed up with Jesús Martínez to help the Tuzos win promotion from second division in 1997. Eighteen months later, Pachuca won its first-ever Liga MX title. The Tuzos would go on to win four more Liga MX championships over the next eight years.

With Fassi running the front office, Pachuca also won four Concacaf Champions League trophies as well as the 2006 Copa Sudamericana, the only Conmebol title won by a Mexican club.

Fassi left for his native Argentina in 2014 to take charge of his hometown team, Talleres. He helped the club win promotion to first division in less than two years then returned as team president in 2017 and again led them back into first division.

Atlético de San Luis brings in Bundesliga player

The Tuneros on Thursday presented Mateo Klimowicz as their newest player.

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The 22-year-old midfielder arrives to Liga MX on loan from Stuttgart. Klimowicz was born in Argentina, but he represents Germany internationally, playing in the 2021 European U-21 Championship.