Goal.com previews the upcoming Apertura 2012 in the newly-branded Liga MX by listing teams based on the strength of their off-season signings, roster depth and more.1. Santos Laguna - The title holders avoided the traditional raid of the last champion's roster by retaining all of their major stars, as well as adding Mexican national team midfielder Gerardo Lugo to the mix on Draft day.
2. Pumas - Huge signings for a revamped UNAM squad that also adds former player Joaquin del Olmo as its new manager. Lots to be excited about with Luis Garcia, Emanuel Villa and Martin Romagnoli in the mix.
3. Monterrey - Losing midfield stalwart Luis Perez to Guadalajara is certainly a blow, but it's nothing the Rayados can't fill with their deep, talented bench that includes Walter Ayovi, Angel Reyna and Neri Cardozo.
4. Pachuca - "Mexico's team" is making a huge investment by bringing in Hugo Sanchez, Nery Castillo, Spanish import Raul Tamudo and former Chivas winger Alberto Medina to push the Tuzos over the top in the Apertura 2012. Pressure is on for Hugol's boys.
5. América - In Efrain Juarez and Adrian Aldrete, América added two fringe national team players to an already talented group that made the Clausura 2012 semis. The clock is now officially ticking on Christian Benitez and Diego Reyes, who will fetch high transfer fees in Europe.
6. Tigres - The Monterrey team has yet to really account for the departure of Danilinho last winter. Now, it loses Chilean striker Hector Mancilla to Atlas with alleged Manchester United target Alan Pulido called upon to fill the void.
7. Cruz Azul - Bringing in Pablo Barrera, Mariano Pavone and Luis Perea give La Maquina names on the pitch, but returns have been disappointing for a team that hasn't lifted a championship trophy since 1997. This year looks no different.
8. Toluca - Edgar Benítez will partner up with Iván Alonso to strike fear in opposing defenses. Wilson Tiago was signed to shore up the midfield following Martin Romagnoli's departure. The Diablos look strong enough to return to the playoffs following a lengthy departure.
9. Morelia - Jefferson Montero could prove to be the best foreign signing after the former Real Betis player sets his feet in Mexico. The question for Ruben Omar Romano's squad is: who will take over Gerardo Lugo's playmaking role in midfield?
10. Chivas - Johan Cruyff can't save this team by himself. Rafa Marquez Lugo and Luis Perez are nice additions, but the team has too many holes that the youth team cannot be expected to fill by themselves. A mid-table finish awaits if no more important additions join the fold.
11. Tijuana - A surprisingly weak transfer period saw the Xolos lose their top scorer in 2011-12 (Jose Sand) and arguably, the best defensive midfielder on the continent (Egidio Arevalo). Ecuadorian Fidel Martinez will recoup some of the lost spark on offense for the country's most "American" team.
12. Jaguares - Losing Jackson Martinez to FC Porto (still pending, by the way) will be a huge loss for the jungle cats, but manager Jose Guadalupe Cruz plans to build around Martinez's compatriots Franco Arizala and Luis Gabriel Rey to mitigate his goal production.
13. León - Team owner Jesus Martinez flooded the newly-promoted team with quality signings. Building from the back is held at a premium, evidenced by the signing of defenders Jonny Magallon, Javier Muñoz and goalkeeper Christian Martinez.
14. Atlante - Chilean striker Esteban Paredes will be one of the Cancun team's classic quiet successes, but the team's weak back line was not addressed. New coach Ricardo La Volpe is fond of attacking, which could spell disaster for the Potros' back line.
15. Atlas - It's gut check time for the Guadalajara club, which plans to escape relegation by splashing cash on several established signings. Veterans Matias Vuoso, Hector Mancilla and Luis Alonso Sandoval will revive the worst offense in the league last season.
16. Puebla - Edinson Toloza and Herminio Miranda headline the Camoteros' foreign signings. Once again though, performances on the pitch will pale in comparison to the off-field drama. What will DaMarcus Beasley tweet about this season?
17. San Luis - The Gladiadores lost their main offensive threat in Alfredo Moreno and replaced him with Uruguay's Sebastian Fernandez, helping their poor goalscoring tally. Retreads made up the rest of their signings, leaving a struggling back line to fend for itself.
18. Querétaro - Saving the Gallos from relegation will be a mammoth task. Of their 18 signings, followers will hope for at least one or two diamonds in the rough to allow hope to spring beyond the Apertura tournament and into 2013.
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