After last week's opening, Liga MX teams look to build on positive starts — or reverse their fortunes.
|Friday, July 25|
|10:30||Santos||-||Cruz Azul||Azteca America|
|Saturday, July 26|
ESPN Dep (Delayed)
|Sunday, July 27|
All times p.m., ET
Morelia - Atlas
Both of these clubs are still seeking their first goals after scoreless draws in the first week of the season. Monarcas missed Jefferson Montero's influence but will take heart that they were able to keep Toluca scoreless even after seeing Luis Silva sent off. Atlas will hope Luis Caballero is able to provide more production, as the Guadalajara club is still without offseason signings Juan Carlos Medina and Aldo Leao Ramirez. Silva will be serving his suspension.
Santos - Cruz Azul
Big things are expected from both of these clubs during this tournament. Santos opened the post-Oribe Peralta era with a 1-0 win against Veracruz while Cruz Azul, one of the preseason favorites to lift the trophy, stumbled against Pachuca. The visitors played the last 10 minutes of the match against a Tuzos side that was reduced to nine men thanks to red cards. Santos will face a team that added Francisco Rodriguez in defense and also added midfielder Hernan Bernardello.
America - Tijuana
Xolos were uninspiring in a loss to Puebla, with their makeshift center backs not quite making due, so a trip to see former manager Antonio Mohamed's high-powered America squad probably isn't what fans on the frontera were hoping for. Osvaldo Martinez hit a double for las Aguilas as they defeated Leon last week. Oribe Peralta will also be chomping at the bit to fire one in for his new side after a strong showing in Week 1.
Puebla - Veracruz
La Franja started the tournament well 1-0 win against Tijuana, which is needed since Puebla is battling relegation this season. Fellow straggler Veracruz put up a fight but capitulated to Santos in Week 1. The home team will be without Efrain Cortes, who was suspended for additional games after spitting in the face of a Xolos player.
Tigres - Leon
Tigres didn't score last week but don't look for forward Alan Pulido to slot into the team and become a hero after he was separated from first-team training. The player has drawn the interest of European teams but the club apparently would rather he not make public his desires to move. With Marco Ruben serving a red card suspension, American forward Herculez Gomez could be called upon. The visitors' second consecutive title defense started off with defeat to America, but goalkeeper William Yarbrough is unlikely to commit another howler like he did in Week 1.
Pachuca - Monterrey
This is shaping up to be the match of the weekend after strong statements from both clubs in the first week. Pachuca sold Enner Valencia in the offseason, but got a goal from Matias Alustiza and held off Cruz Azul despite seeing two men sent off. Meanwhile, Humberto Suazo showed he still has it in his 33-year-old legs with an excellent free kick goal and an assist in a 3-1 win against Leones Negros. Tuzos will be without Daniel Arreola and Jorge Hernandez — the two players sent off — but will hope they can continue their good start in their home debut.
Chiapas - Toluca
Jaguares nearly made the Liguilla and nearly knocked off Chivas last weekend. Instead, the Chiapas club settled for a draw in Guadalajara but had the run of things as the match closed. Toluca wasn't quite as impressive, with Pablo Velasquez missing a chance that would've been easier to convert as the Red Devils attempted to score on a 10-man Morelia team. Both sides will be looking to improve on their initial draws.
Pumas - Chivas
It took less than a minute for Pumas to open the scoring in Liga MX and they didn't stop there, adding two more in a 3-1 thrashing of Queretaro. Chivas also took a first-half lead but conceded to Chiapas in a 1-1 opening week draw. These clubs are two of Mexico's biggest, with both looking to return to former glories. Pumas were certainly closer last tournament, but Chivas enters this campaign with confidence after making several veteran additions. Chivas hasn't won at the Ciudad Universitaria since the 2004 Apertura, so a win Sunday would go a long way toward convincing doubters that this campaign will be different.
Leones Negros - Queretaro
There were some flashes that the Leones Negros belonged in the first divison in their opening weekend loss, but the scoreline ended up being the weekend's most lopsided. Queretaro also lost by a 3-1 mark and will be in a rowdy Estadio Jalisco. The Gallos Blancos will also be without new man Danilinho, who was sent off in his Queretaro debut.