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Mexican Primera Previews, Apertura 2011, Team By Team: Queretaro FC

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The club that actually played in the Mexican Primera last season who is closest to the drop is Queretaro, and with the moves that the teams around them have made in the transfer window, they are probably the favorites to go down. That's not to say that it's anything close to a done deal, as Queretaro have made some solid signings of their own. Not to mention, nothing is ever a sure thing in the Mexican Primera.

Queretaro's highest profile addition was Adolfo 'Bofo' Bautista, a man who we've immortalized with a scoring drought counter on our front page. At the time of this posting, the counter says that it has been 503 days since he's scored a goal in the league. Bofo Bautista, a former Mexican international forward with 11 goals for Mexico, has not scored in the league in over a year. He was rumored to be pining for a move to Cruz Azul or Pachuca. He ended up at Queretaro. It's a minor step down.

The Queretaro defense is loaded with players who are either very unproven or very old. Throughout the last year, both in the 2010 Apertura and the 2011 Clausura, Queretaro's defense was absolutely abysmal. They have done very little to correct this problem, meaning that their games will at least be fun. They actually have some decent firepower, but their defense will likely continue to be poor. Captain "Pity" Hector Altamirano is now 34 years old and he hasn't been at his best in quite some time. Adrian Romero isn't young either, at 34 years old as well.

However, there's some cause for hope. Efrain Cortes was an improvement over the existing players on the roster when he arrived last year, and it's reasonable to expect more out of Juan Antonio Ocampo this season. New signings Diego Garcia and Christian Perez, along with a lot of other existing players on Queretaro's roster, are young wild cards that we can't talk too much about until we see them play with the first team. There's enough young talent on the roster that they could potentially put together a very solid back line, but the majority of their defenders are as unproven as they are young.

In midfield, Queretaro has a lot of the same problems as they do in defense with older and unproven players, but without nearly the young talent waiting in the wings. There's not much in the way of wildcards - what you see is what you get. The midfield is probably going to be serviceable, but they're certainly not great. Sergio Ponce proved a decent player in his loan spells to Tigres and San Luis from Chivas in the last year, and he should be a good addition. Israel Martinez, who arrived from America, should also be a good addition. Israel Lopez has joined as well, but at this point in his career, I'm not sure if he can contribute much at all.

Up top is where Queretaro is best, and their ability to score goals is what is going to keep them fighting in the relegation battle. Carlos Bueno's goal scoring record for various clubs and country is spectacular, and he can be counted on to score if he stays healthy. Bofo Bautista, though his recent goal scoring record is terrible, is seemingly a solid addition and should be able to break the streak this year. Michel Vasquez and Pablo Bonells are wild cards like the rest of this team, but they'll need to do something. Bueno and Bofo can't play every game.

Key Player

Carlos Bueno - If Bueno doesn't score once every other game, Queretaro is going down this season. Simple as that.

Potential Breakout Player

Efrain Cortes - He did well in his half season with the club, but since Queretaro were neither a factor to make Liguilla or get relegated, he didn't get a lot of attention. He had a few fantastic seasons in Colombia before his move to Mexico and he'll be even better this year with a half season behind him and a full preseason to gel with the team.

Prediction

Relegated - They will fight and it will not happen early like it did for Necaxa last year, but Queretaro are the best candidate to go down. They have a very good chance at saving themselves, and this is hardly a death sentence, but we have to predict that someone is going down. For now, this is the pick.

This is the second in our series of Mexican Primera team previews. Check out the earlier preview of the Club Tijuana Xolos.