Remember last week when I wrote "What would cure these ailments and get us back on a positive trajectory? An exciting weekend of action on the field. This could be the one to deliver it." Well, that was hilarious.
The league's referees went on strike and Round 10 was suspended. The referees are back to work now and set for Round 11. Let's give it another shot. Here are the talking points ahead of the weekend.
It's a big weekend for ... the entire league
The referees' strike that forced last week's matches to be suspended brings up a lot of questions about what will be different. The refs asked for respect in general, but the only sign anything has changed is the league extending the suspensions it handed to Club America center back Pablo Aguilar and Enrique Triverio. Will last week's significant disruption provoke change from the refs themselves? Will players keep their distance or use more respect when addressing the refs? We'll have to wait and see.
We don't know the answer to those questions, but we'll find out this week. There's a lot on the line. The league's owners and directors missed out on a fair amount of money, revenue that might not come back when the league plays the round during the middle of the week after Rounds 13 and 14. Fans were disappointed. The calendar is complicated. If the referees or anyone else crucial to the games (read: the players) aren't happy with how things go, we could see another similar situation where games are missed.
Don't miss ... Monterrey vs. Atlas
It seemed unlikely Atlas would be playing any matches of consequence, much less the marquee matchup of the weekend, after a dismal showing in the Clasico Tapatio. But even without Rafa Marquez in the middle controlling the game, Jose Cruz's side ran off consecutive victories and was able to get a draw with Necaxa when Marquez returned in Round 9. The chances of victory this weekend still seem slim thanks to Monterrey's excellent record at home, but Cruz's side is suddenly right back in the middle of the playoff race.
Rayados are coming off a disappointing Apertura but are doing their best to erase those memories with Dorlan Pabon back after missing training with a leg injury and Edwin Cardona back in good form. The team also is into the semifinals of the Copa MX and is feeling good.
But resurgent Atas could disrupt that, even with Monterrey bringing a seven-match home winning streak and a 15-match undefeated streak at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer.
Keep an eye out for ... hangovers from midweek
Between Tigres and Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions League and the bevy of squads that took part in the Copa MX during the week, there could be some changes in the roster or tired legs on the field this weekend.
Tigres head to Cruz Azul with both teams outside the Liguilla positions but each getting a win before the unexpected weekend off. Pachuca goes to Queretaro, which will be chomping at the bit to get back on the field after a beating at the hands of Monterrey removed many of the positive feelings associated with Jimmy Lozano's promotion to head coach and the unbeaten run that followed.
Those are potential traps for a Tigres team that has rediscovered at least some of the elements that made it the champion last tournament, while Pachuca is level on points with Chivas at the top of the table. Chivas' task this weekend is less daunting, with slumping Veracruz in town.
Quote of the Week
"I've never seen something so incredible. I've never seen a sending off and subsequent suspension that is so exaggerated." - Ceclilo Dominguez, America midfielder
The midfielder, who should make his return to league play Sunday when Las Aguilas make the short trip to take on Pumas, was shocked at the suspension his club and national team teammate Pablo Aguilar.