Liga MX Apertura - 2018

 Photo By Liga MX

Photo By Liga MX

Tigres had a strong summer and looks even stronger this current Apertura. The return of Guido Pizarro brings stability and balance to the midfield. Then you have 21-year-old Colombian forward Julian Quinones returning from loan at Lobos BUAP after capitalizing 17 goals in 28 matches. We must not forget Tigres, has been a finalists in the past three seasons before the 2018 Clausura.  It's not a clear cut given, but it is safe to predict Tigres is the favorite to add another championship trophy to the impressive collection they already have.

 Photo by Liga MX

Photo by Liga MX

Then we have a loaded squad with Monterrey, where Diego Alonso has taken over the reign away from Antonio Mohamed as head coach.  Rayados might need to change the style of play, to a more possession-based style of play and not the counter attack they demonstrated under the old regime.  The new additions to the squad should help them bolster its aspirations and allow them to forget the upset they received last season as Xolos from Tijuana eliminated them.  Goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero from Necaxa, Mexico international Jesus Gallardo Pumas and Rodolfo Pizarro Chivas, possibly the best signing of the off season has set high expectations in Monterey for this Apertura. 

 Photo by Cruz Azul Official Web Site 

Photo by Cruz Azul Official Web Site 

Next, we have Cruz Azul on paper they had the best off-season from any team. Ricardo Pelaez went on a spending spree and he spent it on some very skilled athletes, primarily players already well cemented in Liga MX.  Elias Hernandez from Leon is an undeviating assist staple; Milton Caraglio formerly of Atlas is a steadfast, blue color mid fielder, Igor Lichnovsky formerly from Necaxa and Pablo Aguilar from Club Tijuana will bolster its defense, last we have Ivan Marcone from Lanus, he is reliable player that will help improve a team that has not won a Championship title in over a decade. These veterans will have plenty of help, as they will team up with the speedy youth Cruz Azul possesses, look for them to make a strong run to win it all this season. Cruz Azul has not won a title since 1997.  

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Another one of Mexico‚Äôs most popular team, Las Aguilas has the talent to make the playoffs, possibly going all the way. Newly acquired striker Roger Martinez, capability of taking the goal-scoring pressure off veteran Oribe Peralta, who ended last season with poor play for Club America. Club America had a tumultuous pre-season with the Tour Aguila, as they played a few games in the United Sates. French forward Jeremy Menez is out this Apertura with an ACL tear and Cecilio Dominguez won't be ready for the start for at least the first 3 weeks of this season due to a fractured jaw.

It wont be an easy task to replace those international players, but Club America has the depth to over come these key injuries.  Miguel Herrera is in a make or break season and it is all or nothing every season for this Club.   

 Photo by Liga MX

Photo by Liga MX

Santos Laguna comes into the Apertura as the Defending Champion, but it will be a tall order to defend the title.  As they need to over come 3 huge loses in key players. Carlos Izquierdoz and Nestor Araujo were solid all season.  Carlos bolted to Boca Juniors and Araujo has joined Celta Vigo.  These are the top favorites for the Apertura.  However, no team has won back to back titles since 2004 when Pumas accomplished this feat.  Thus, it is safe to say we will have a new champion this Apertura.