Kevin C. Cox
Liga MX will put its best foot forward this weekend when Xolos host America, while time is running out on Leon and Chivas.
We're getting close to the point in the Clausura where teams are no longer "off to a slow start" and are just bad. That's a concern for a team like Leon, who have been absolutely dreadful in the early going and may find themselves out of the Liguilla race by the halfway point of the Clausura, wile Chivas are in the same spot as theur continue to sputter along. Unless they get things going soon, by the time they wake up, if they wake up, it may be too late.
On the other side of the table, and entertainment scale, are Tijuana and America. Lucky for us, they play this weekend so clear your schedules.
If Morelia or Leon want to climb up into a Liguilla place, they will both have to figure out how to keep goals out. Both have conceded nine times in five matches, which is especially concerning after both defended excellently in the Apertura. Uriel Alvarez and Joel Huiqui have been poor in the center of the Morelia defense, too often getting pulled out and exposed. At least Morelia have had some consistency at the back, though. Leon hasn't been able to sort out who and what they want at the back, as evidenced by Jonn Magallon's playing left, right and centerback the club's last three matches.
Morelia vs. Leon - 8:30 p.m. ET
There is no doubt what the match of the week is in FMF this weekend -- Tijuana vs. America.
The second and third place teams in Liga MX will square off at Estadio Caliente, which is enough incentive to watch, but throw in the fact that they are also two of the most entertaining teams in the league and it becomes must-watch TV. America are a team with seemingly no organization, which plays at 100 mph, and amazingly, is very, very effective. The dynamism and unpredictability provided by their style combines well with their skill to make them extremely dangerous and a major test for a Xolos back line that was very shaky in last week's draw with Tigres.
Right behind Tijuana and America in the table are surprising fourth place Atlas. Still relegation threatened, just one place above Queretaro, Atlas have lost just once this tournament and are the only team to defeat America. Omar Bravo has tapped into the fountain of youth and has three goals to his name, a number he can add to against Atlante's horrific defense this weekend.
Cruz Azul vs. UNAM Pumas - 6 p.m. ET
Queretaro vs. Chiapas - 6 p.m. ET
Monterrey vs. Chivas - 8 p.m. ET
Tijuana vs. America - 8 p.m. ET
Atlas vs. Atlante - 10 p.m. ET
San Luis vs. Puebla - 10 p.m. ET
Santos were dealt a blow in midweek international action when Oribe Peralta broke his nose playing for Mexico, which will likely force Herculez Gomez to play alone up top. That's a killer for a team that has struggled for goals and have only gotten them from Peralta in the early going of the Clausura.. Santos have scored just six goals this season, four of them by Peralta, leaving them sixth in the table despite a Liga MX best three goals conceded. Scoring won't get any easier this weekend against Pachuca's strong defense either, which means they are going to need the Carlos Darwin Quintero to snap out of his early tournament funk.
Toluca vs. Tigres - 1 p.m. ET
Santos vs. Pachuca - 5 p.m. ET