Liga MX Notebook: Rumors and speculation on the goalie front

Could Guillermo Ochoa and Keylor Navas be playing in Mexico next season?
Guillermo Ochoa (left) and Keylor Navas chat after a World Cup qualifier in 2022. It's possible the two goalkeepers could be playing in Liga MX next season.
Guillermo Ochoa (left) and Keylor Navas chat after a World Cup qualifier in 2022. It's possible the two goalkeepers could be playing in Liga MX next season. / EZEQUIEL BECERRA/GettyImages

Quite a few Team Mexico fans were caught by surprise when Guillermo Ochoa wasn’t named to El Tri’s preliminary roster for this summer’s Copa América.

After all, Memo was the captain and a constant presence between the pipes since taking over the No. 1 job more than a decade ago, with 151 caps to his name.

But the 38-year-old netminder is getting long in the tooth even as he continues to ply his trade in Serie A, albeit for last-place Salernitana.

However, although Ochoa fans in North America won’t get to see him play for El Tri this summer, they might be able to watch him play in Mexico next season.

Another prodigal son to return to Liga MX?

Javier Hernández, now 35, is back in Liga MX after a scintillating 14-year stint abroad. 

Sure, “Chicharito” is just a shadow of the legendary poacher who enjoyed triumphs and silverware with Manchester United and Real Madrid, there are plenty of fans who are glad to have the chance to see him playing in Mexico again.

No doubt, Ochoa would get the same treatment from the soccer-loving crowds in Mexico. But is he on the verge of returning again?

Memo spent eight years overseas in France, Spain and Germany before returning for a four-year reunion with América beginning in 2019. Four years later, the veteran goalie left to play with Salernitana, helping the modest club avoid relegation. 

This season has been more difficult and it is unlikely that Memo wants to play in Serie B next season, so the whispers of a return to Liga MX are growing louder.

The most recent rumor has León working to repatriate Ochoa where he would replace long-time gatekeeper Rodolfo Cota who helped the Esmeraldas win a Liga MX championship and a Concacaf Champions League title.

Cota’s status with León has been up in the air since the season ended at the Play-In stage and this past week the 36-year-old goalie erased all mention of León from his Instagram account.

In addition, another former El Tri captain and Ochoa’s good friend, Andrés Guardado, returned to Liga MX after nearly 17 years in Europe and he plays for León.

Nothing is etched in stone as yet, but it wouldn’t be so far-fetched to see Memo return to Liga MX to finish out his storied career.

From Paris to … Monterrey?

Ask a soccer fan who the best Concacaf goalie of all time is and you’ll likely get one of two answers – Guillermo Ochoa or Keylor Navas.

Now it seems possible that both keepers could be playing in Liga MX next season.

Navas, 37, just bid adieu to Paris Saint Germain supporters and is a free agent. Reports suggest he is open to playing in Mexico and several teams seem willing to arrange his arrival.

And why not? Navas is still a world-class goalie even though he has been sitting on the PSG bench behind Gianluigi Donnarumma. A year ago he rejected a bid from the Saudi league so it’s not money he is looking for right now. It’s all about playing where he is comfortable.

Navas’ availability – and his reported interest in Liga MX – has piqued the interest of the big-money Mexican clubs, specifically Monterrey, Tigres and América.

América has Luis Malagón, the likely successor to Ochoa with El Tri, so they probably would not be interested in Navas.

Monterrey’s Esteban Andrada is out of contract at the end of June, so the Rayados could be a bidder. And Tigres are conceivably fed up with the antics of Nahuel Guzmán who is serving a lengthy suspension that will extend into next season.


Any speculation at this stage is just that, speculation. But soccer fans in Mexico would be delighted to see Navas starring in Liga MX, so this rumor will certainly maintain traction until more information is available.