The elation over winning the Apertura 2009 title has not yet faded from Monterrey but the club has already started putting pieces in place for what the club hopes will be a successful title defense.
Monterrey added Sergio "Cherokee" Perez from Puebla to boost the midfield. Perez was introduced to the Monterrey media on Monday and the up-and-coming talent expressed his enthusiasm at joining the defending champions.
"I'm very happy because I am able to join the team that proved they were the best last season," Perez said during his introductory press conference. "This change brings up more challenges but this signifies growth and allows me a chance of success."
Even though only one club has repeated since the Mexican league switched to the current two-seasons-per-calendar-year format in 1996, Perez said he has high hopes for los Rayados to become the second team to accomplish the feat.
"I believe with Monterrey can obtain another title so then I would be able to win one," Perez said.
Perez, 23, has spent his entire career with Puebla. He debuted at the age of 18, during the Clausura 2005 season, but broke through in the Clausura 2008 season, when he logged 820 minutes while playing in 13 games that season. He scored three goals in the Clausura 2009 season, including one against Monterrey in the postseason.
Perhaps that goal helped Monterrey turn towards him, as he was close to joining los Rayados before the start of the Apertura '09 season.
"We talked last season but for various reasons we couldn't work it out," Perez said. "I believe now was the right time to leave Puebla; I believe that things went well with Puebla and I believe when it is time to leave you have to look for new challenges, an upgrade and a place to settle down and I hope that is Monterrey."
Joining a club in a city such as Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest city, is enticing to Perez.
"From what I've heard, the people there love their clubs," Perez said. "It is a football city and obviously to be part of that is great. I consider myself fortunate that they looked at me because the team I left benefited from my leaving."
Playing for Monterrey, Perez will be a part of the Clasico Regiomontano against crosstown rivals Tigres. His first opportunity to play against Monterrey's bitter rivals might come in January as Monterrey and Tigres will meet on Jan. 6 in an InterLiga match.
"I am very excited about that match. The city is paralyzed with that game and that is also new to me. In Puebla, that does not exist and it's great that I will get a chance to live through those kinds of games in my career, games that have the most pressure and games that make you a better player."
For more coverage of the Mexican Primera Division, visit Goal.com's Mexico page.