Despite being one of the more lackluster offensive teams in Liga MX, Club América managed to make their way to the semifinal of the 2017 Apertura tournament on the back of their phenomenal defense – which allowed just 22 goals all season including the liguilla. As a result of their lackluster offensive performance, it was expected that Miguel Herrera and company would try and sign some more offensive minded players. This task was made significantly more challenging when rumors began swirling around online that las Águilas were going to be financially handicapped headed into the draft. According to various different sources, Club América would only have 7 million USD to spend over the course of the draft.
As the draft got underway, it seemed like every other team except Club América was making significant roster moves. Cross-city rivals Cruz Azul, after releasing club legend Chaco Giménez a day before the draft, made a flurry of signings early on in the draft and by 7:00 PM had ended their participation. Several other teams, including Atlas, made significant roster moves before las Águilas announced any roster changes of their own. The lack of any activity early on in the draft only seemed to serve as confirmation that Club América was financially handicapped in the draft.
Eventually, as the draft wore on, las Águilas announced their first roster change of the draft. Instead of signing a new attacking player, however, the sale of defender Miguel Samudio to Queretaro was announced by the club. The move was a rather questionable one considering that Samudio had been an important part of very solid Águila defense over the past tournament. A short while after the sale of Samudio was announced, it was reported that Pablo Aguilar had been transferred to Tijuana. Pablo Aguilar’s transfer to Tijuana came as a complete shock to fans and pundits alike. Aguilar had been the heart and sole of the team since his arrival a few years ago.
Initially the transfer of Pablo Aguilar was just reported as a regular sale. However, a few minutes after the initial report off Aguilar’s transfer a new twist was added to the tale. As it turned out, Aguilar wasn’t sold to Xolos. Instead, he was traded for Mexican striker Henry Martín, Argentine central defender Victor Emanuel Aguilera, and American attacking midfielder Joe Corona. Martín and Aguilera will be joining Club América on permanent deals. Corona will be a loan with the option to buy in the future. The highly controversial transfer reunites Miguel Herrera with two of his favorite players from his time as the head coach of Tijuana as well as allows las Águilas to sign one of Mexico’s brightest young strikers on the cheap.
It remains to be seen how these players will integrate into Club América or how the loss of Samudio and Aguilar will affect the team, but by the looks of it Miguel Herrera and company pulled off a successful draft.