Exodus under way: Will América fans recognize their team next season?

Julián Quiñones set to leave Liga MX champs for Saudi Arabia, six others could depart as well
Liga MX champions América might have to defend their title without both Julián Quiñones and Álvaro Fidalgo, two key contributors during the club's back-to-back title runs.
Liga MX champions América might have to defend their title without both Julián Quiñones and Álvaro Fidalgo, two key contributors during the club's back-to-back title runs. / Hector Vivas/GettyImages

Perhaps still suffering the effects of a hangover from celebrating their team’s 15th Liga MX crown,  América fans might soon be trying to memorize a new roster.

Julián Quiñones – the Aguilas’ leading scorer in the recently completed playoffs – has already got one foot out the door. Reports suggest the talismanic winger is on the verge of signing a deal with Saudi Arabian club Al Qadisiya.

As much as América management and fans would like to hold onto the El Tri star – and a six-time Liga MX champion – the Saudis have agreed to the buyout terms and are offering to triple Quiñones’ wages. Seems like a win-win for the champs and the player.

Don’t worry about the Aguilas, though. With a season now under his belt, Javairo Dilrosun would seem to be the perfect candidate to fill JQ’s shoes.

Other changes for the Liga MX champs

Last week, we saw that “Los Azulcremas” were having a look at AS Roma’s Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes. Initial reports are that salary demands are amenable to folks at Coapa but no word on the status of the buyout negotiations nor an indication that Paredes actually wants to comes to Mexico. (There are reports that Boca Juniors is his preferred destination.)

If Paredes does join América, he might step into the gap created by the departure of Spaniard Álvaro Fidalgo.

That’s right. The Aguilas’ midfield metronome is drawing interest from European clubs. And he’s not alone.

Defender Sebastián Cáceres and winger Brian Rodríguez are also potential losses that coach André Jardine would have to deal with.

Cáceres, just 24 and already a world-class defender, has been among the best back-liners in Liga MX for three seasons now and has long been a top target for European clubs. If he shows full recovery from a knee injury suffered early this month and plays well for Uruguay at this summer’s Copa América, the Aguilas will not block his dreams of playing across the pond.

Rodríguez, also an Uruguayan, is a 24-year-old winger who showed glimpses of brilliance off the bench for América. Though he has not drawn as much interest as Fidalgo and Cáceres, there are whispers about offers.

Other players whose fates are unknown include defenders Igor Lichnovsky, Luis Fuentes and Kevin Álvarez.

Elsewhere across the Liga MX landscape

Big news from the Cruz Azul camp where reports have surfaced that goalie Kevin Mier has signed a contract extension.

All season we heard loud whispers that Mier was destined for an English Premier League club this summer amid rumors that the Cementeros were looking for their next goalie throughout the Clausura 2024. But that appears to not be the case anymore

Meanwhile, Chivas Nation is all atwitter after Fernando Hierro announced he is leaving the top front office job to accept big bucks to go to Saudi Arabia and run the club where Cristiano Ronaldo plays.

Although the Real Madrid legend insisted he did not make the decision based on economics alone, that declaration fell flat with Guadalajara supporters. Even so, fans expressed gratitude for the three seasons Hierro was in charge as the Chivas qualified for the playoffs in all three season, even reaching the Clausura 2023 final where they fell to Tigres.