So far this year we have seen many storied Liga MX players hang up their cleats such as Emanuel “Tito” Villa, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Carlos Adrian Morales, Israel Castro, Cesar “Chelito” Delgado and Daniel “El Hachita” Ludueña, who just announced his retirement on August 16.
There have been a lot of goodbyes, but let’s take a look at the former Liga MX stars who still play that you may not have known about.
Honorable Mention: Take a look at the USL club Las Vegas Lights’ roster. Their technical director is also none other than José Luis Sánchez Solá, “Chelís”.
Let’s start with the team that has become a mecca for former Liga MX talent. Deportivo Aragon, an amateur club based out of Oaxaca, is home to household names like Juan Carlos “More” Mosqueda, Adrian Cortes, and Juan Carlos Medina. Mosqueda and Medina will be most remembered by Club America fans. Aragon prides itself on attracting former players attempting to relive their glory days and the club has seen an array of Liga MX alumni pass through in the past year: including Vicente Matias Vuoso, Cesar Villaluz, Salvador Cabañas, Andres Chitiva (now heads the scouting department for Pachuca), Jose Luis “Parejita” Lopez (now an assistant coach for Mexican third division side Angeles de la Ciudad) and Jose Antonio “El Gringo” Castro (now head coach for Cruz Azul’s U-15 team).
Edgar Pacheco: Azerbaijan
(Azerbaiyán, 1ra) Edgar Pacheco es nuevo jugador de Sabail, llega procedente de Doxa de Chipre. pic.twitter.com/By3TNWKyIW— Embajadores Aztecas (@eaztecasmx) August 8, 2018
“Pachequito” stole Mexican hearts during a 2011 friendly against Bosnia where he scored a wonderful second goal for El Tri. Now 28 years old, the former Atlas starlet began his career with much potential, as is the case for many Mexican youth players, but his career hit a dead end after his transfer to Tigres in 2011. After forgettable spells at Leon, Zacatecas, Queretaro and FC Juarez, Pacheco hit the international scene. The Guadalajara native passed through South Korea’s second division with Gangwon FC, debuted in Bahrain with Al-Najma, battled in Cyprus with Ermis Aradippou and now just recently transferred to Azerbaijani club Sabail FK. He once famously blamed Liga MX’s “Gentlemen’s Pact” for the reason he’s not playing in Mexico anymore stating, “The Mexican is a foreigner in his own league.”
Jehu Chiapas and Martin Galvan: Spain
⚽ RENOVADO | Jehu Chiapas seguirá ligado al @CFSalmantinoUDS la próxima temporada. De esta manera, el centrocampista mexicano seguirá ejerciendo su autoridad sobre el césped del estadio Helmántico. ¡A por ello @Jehuu!#Chiapas2019#ChiapasEsDeLaUnión pic.twitter.com/NUAW3nfGeH— Peña Helmántica (@PHelmantica) July 17, 2018
Jehu Chiapas will forever be highly respected at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario for his time with Pumas. Still only 32 years old, Chiapas won two titles with UNAM and last played for Ascenso MX club Cafetaleros in 2016. He now resides in Spain, playing for third tier club Salmantino. Joining him in the locker room is former Cruz Azul prodigy Martin Galvan. Galvan famously became the youngest player to ever debut on a Mexican team when he came on as substitute in a 2008 InterLiga tournament match against Monterrey at only 14 years old. Galvan, now 25, took that honor from Victor Mañón, another household name in Pachuca, who debuted for Los Tuzos in September 2007 at 15 years of age and now plays for Loros de Colima in the Mexican third division.
Luis Angel Landin and César Villaluz: Guatemala
Yeah, you’re going to see a lot of former Mexican wonderkids in this article. As teenagers, both Landin and Villaluz were bonafide stars at Pachuca and Cruz Azul, respectively. Landin put on eight total jerseys in Mexico, plus Houston Dynamo’s, before finding his scoring form again in Costa Rica playing for Perez Zeledon and Herediano (30 goals with both clubs combined). Landin is now in his first season with Deportivo Malacateco. Meanwhile, Villaluz, who last played in the Liga MX for Chiapas FC, left Deportivo Aragon this summer to suit up for second division club San Pedro. Yes, you read that right. A SECOND division team in Guatemala. Hard to believe for a former World Champion.
Gerardo Lugo, Antonio Pedroza and Omar Arellano: Costa Rica
(Costa Rica, 1ra) Edgar Lugo y Omar Arellano fueron titulares en la victoria de Herediano 4-0 UCR. Antonio Pedroza entró de cambio, Aldo Magaña fue suplente. pic.twitter.com/YgIvUpmCOS— Embajadores Aztecas (@eaztecasmx) July 24, 2018
This trio of Liga MX rejects all play for Herediano in the Costa Rican first division. Lugo was a solid starter for most of the teams he played with in Mexico, and “La Pinita” Arellano will forever be remembered at Chivas. Arellano had a futile spell in Spain with Ontinyent CF before coming back to the CONCACAF region. Pedroza is of Jaguares and Cruz Azul fame and is referred to as “El Rooney” thanks to his Mexican and English dual nationality. The striker was yet another promising youth product that even had trials with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid in his teenage years. Life comes at you fast.
Enrique Esqueda: Poland
The one, the only “Paleta” is still kicking it around a pitch these days. Well, at least he was a couple months ago. Esqueda made over 100 appearances for Club America and was once upon a time regarded as their future star striker. He, like Villaluz, was a part of that 2005 U-17 Mexico squad that lifted the World Cup in Peru. After not panning out at Pachuca, Atlas, Tigres, Veracruz or Chiapas, Esqueda was thrown a lifeline via Instagram by a Mexican resident in Poland and joined Arka Gdynia. According to Soccerway, Esqueda made eight appearances for the Polish club and scored twice. Unfortunately, he was released from the team in July and is currently without a club, something pretty common for former Club America players this summer.
Vicente Matias Vuoso: United States
NEW PLAYER— Barracudas FC (@BarracudasFC) November 25, 2017
Vicente Matías Vuoso
We are excited to have Vicente on board and are confident his experience will help the team in every way. (Eligibility pending) pic.twitter.com/9RWJ28Wa1I
Vuoso sits among the best of the best of Liga MX goalscorers. He’s currently No. 26 all time in goals scored with 145 goals. He scored 94 of those with Santos Laguna and 27 with Club America. In his later years, Vuoso was questionably called up to the Mexico squad that traveled to the 2015 Copa America in Chile and scored a surprising brace against the hosts during the tournament. That performance earned him a contract with Cruz Azul, his last first division club in Mexico. After La Maquina, Vuoso went back to his native Argentina with Talleres de Cordoba and later returned to Mexico with Correcaminos and Deportivo Aragon. He has since made the trip stateside to sign with RGV Barracudas of the Major Arena Soccer League. It’s not outdoor soccer, but still.
Sebastian Abreu: Chile
After traveling the world for his football career, Sebastian Abreu has received a certificate for most professional football (soccer) teams played for by an individual > https://t.co/deglreNm5H @loco13com— GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) April 16, 2018
Okay, we know most of the players on this list have been Mexican, which Abreu is not, but it’s worth mentioning that the legendary “Loco Abreu” is STILL FREAKING PLAYING SOCCER. The 41-year-old Uruguayan, who played for Tecos, Cruz Azul, America, Monterrey, San Luis and Tigres has led the Liga MX in scoring four separate times. Astonishingly, Abreu holds a Guinness World Record for playing in 26 (now 27) total clubs in his career, the most in the game’s history. He’s also played in 11 different countries and currently suiting up for Deportes Magallanes in Chile’s Primera B while simultaneously being a commentator for Fox Sports Radio Chile. Absolute legend.
What is your favorite moments of the players we talked about in this list? Any former Liga MX starts still playing that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!