Bryce Dunn –
Yes, it’s that time. Time I don my rolled up trousers, braces, thick frame glasses, twiddly moustashe and blasted out some God Speed! You Black Emperor. But why, I hear you ask. That is because I’m clearly a hipster. Ok, maybe I do not like or have any of the above but I do like the latest football trend that is Liga MX, and therefore I bring you the all important Liga MX club guide.
As stated brilliantly by Manuel Veth in a prior article, there are many reasons to tune into the Liga MX games like the amount of goals, crowd attendances or the way their league operates. I tune in for the simple reason that it is fun. End to end football that seems to have a sprinkle of WWE.
One of the issues is finding somewhere to watch games. Online you can find a way to watch any team in the world and this will be made easier next year when Liga MX games are broadcasted on Facebook. Now that this issue is resolved, the next is which team to support. Here’s where we shall briefly breakdown each of the sides in our Liga MX club guide part II:
Liga MX Club Guide
Rayados, as they are known because they play in blue and white stripes, experienced a rather bleak beginning when their team bus crashed, killing most of the squad after only their second professional match. Thankfully, after seven years in hiatus, the club were re-established in 1952 and, over the years, became one of the league’s best supported sides. Currently, the side look strong in the Clausura and should progress to the play-offs in search of their fifth title—the first since 2010. Colombian striker, Dorlan Pabon, with his powerful right foot is the most in form striker in the league with nine goals in nine games. If Monterrey are to have any success, they will need this man to keep up his sensational form. He is not the only player on the pitch to keep an eye on though. At the other end, young defender, Cesar, has the potential to be something exemplary.
The Guayangareo Valley side were originally known as Oro Morelia but in 1999 changed the name to Monarcas Morelia. When you look into the club’s history you may think that the lack of honours must be due to the name change—unfortunately that is not the case. Their only title was the 2000-01 Primera Invierno with a trio of runners up medals. Even the best efforts of the ‘Peruvian Messi’, Raul Ruidíaz, and contributions in front of the goal will probably not be enough to see that change this time round but, as we know, in Liga MX, a run of results can quickly change a side’s fortunes. The Canaries also have formerly dubbed wunderkind, Andy Polo, who has made a bright start to his Mexican football career, in their ranks.
Los Rayos or Los Electricistas (the Thunderbolts or the Electricians) were established when Englishman, William H. Frasser, an engineer and owner of the Light and Power Company, founded a football team after having been a keen player while a student. The club have one of the oldest rivalries in Mexican football with Atlante, and the fact that they can are in the league is one of few positives as their form in 2017 has been poor. The side seem to lack the voltage they once had when they drew David Beckham’s Manchester United side in the 2000 World Club Cup, an event that makes them one of the more recognizable sides in our Liga MX club guide.
Los Tuzos are one of the oldest clubs in North America after being founded by miners in 1901. In recent times, Pachuca can boast a side of real quality, including captain Érick Gutiérrez, who helps dictate the pace of the play before young attacking talent like Hirving Lozano cuts in from the left wing with great effect with a sharp right footed effort. But where C.F. Pachuca have really impressed this season is in defense. Liga MX sides are not known for their quality at the back—usually, each match averages over three goals—but centre back pairing, Oscar Murillo and Omar Gonzalez, have been part of the reason for their strong Clausura campaign. If the side can keep this form, they might be able to repeat their 2016 success and win the competition, and there are a great choice to follow for all those who read our Liga MX club guide.
The Spanish colonial city have had their own side since 1904 and competed in the first two years of the first Mexican league. Like numerous other sides, the club were founded by an Englishman and probably have the greatest nickname in the division, ‘The Sweet Potatoes’. With a history of over a hundred years and this being their 15th consecutive season in the top flight, you would have expected more success than two league titles. The Copa MX has been a more successful tournament for the side; they have won it five times. This season, it does not look like things will change in this department but, if you are to watch a match involving Puebla, make sure it’s the hotly contested rivalry with Veracruz which dates back to the early 20th century. Argentinian striker, Alexis Pedro Canelo, will be vitally important if Puebla are to turn their season around.
Los Gallos Blancos (the white roosters) have a relatively short history compared to most clubs in the league. They began in 1950 after being invited into the creation of the second division. This somewhat explains the lack of honours but, in 2017, the success of this exciting side may change. On the pitch goalkeeper, Tiago Volpi, has been in exceptional form resulting in links to Europe’s top clubs. Further up field, Neri Cardozo has been pulling the strings from central midfield with his hawkeye vision. Off the pitch might be the most exciting aspect of the club in their young 37-year-old manager, Jaime Lozano. He gave up his playing career at the age of 27 to go into coaching and, after spending time with Barcelona and working his way up through Queretaro’s young squads, he was given the nod at the start of the year. His philosophy of short passing and possession-style football has made his time at the club both attractive and successful. They will be one of the teams you can expect to see in the final, and for that are one of our favourites in the Liga MX club guide.
Bryce Dunn is a Northern Irish football writer and Podcaster. Bryce hosts the popular Bundesliga – Gegenpressing Podcast, which is the most in-depth English-speaking Bundesliga Podcast available and Golazo an English-speaking Podcast covering Mexico’s Liga MX on the Futbolgrad Network. He is an avid Liverpool FC supporter, who enjoys researching German and Mexican football clubs whether they are part of the elite or the lower divisions. Follow Bryce on Twitter @BryceDunn11.