Here are some of the main takeaways from the fourteenth week of play in the 2019 Liga MX Apertura.
Veracruz players are right to protest unpaid wages
What is there left to say that there hasn’t been said before? Veracruz are a club in absolute shambles, and shame on Liga MX for even allowing this club back to the league in the first place following the club’s relegation last season.
If you don’t know what happened on Friday between Veracruz and Tigres, Antonio wrote a really good recap. Basically, some Veracruz players haven’t been paid for months, and the club is in such a bad financial state that the conditions in which the youth teams and the Liga MX Femenil side are playing are absolutely deplorable. As a result, Veracruz players decided to protest on Friday by not playing the first three minutes of their match against Tigres, conceding two goals in the process.
UPDATED: Everything you need to know on the @ClubTiburones situation.— FMF State of Mind (@FMFSoM) October 19, 2019
"There are teammates who have had to leave their homes... the team doesn't even have medicine to treat injuries." #ligamxeng | @SBNationSoccer https://t.co/RbZWu4QkcY
Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that. This isn’t without mentioning that Veracruz owner Fidel Kuri is a delusional nut job and should’t even be owning a team in the first place. Just make sure to read the article above if you want to know more.
Tigres’s lack of solidarity in midst of Veracruz protests not a good look
Continuing with Friday’s events, it would have been nice if Tigres showed some sort of solidarity with Veracruz instead of scoring two goals in the first five minutes. Whether the players had agreed beforehand if it was one minute or three minutes of protest, it’s just not a good look when you take advantage of a side that was only trying to do a good thing.
As expected, the criticism deservedly rained down on Tigres through the course of the weekend, and you can’t blame neutrals for questioning Tigres’s status as “big” team following Friday’s actions. You just don’t do that. As former Tigres striker Alan Pulido put it, “not even in FIFA 20 do you score two goals when your opponent’s batteries run out”.
It was a bad weekend for the teams from Mexico City
The sides from Mexico City went 0-3 this weekend in the wins department, with both Cruz Azul and Pumas losing their home games while Club América only managing to earn a late 2-2 draw away to Necaxa.
Cruz Azul’s 3-2 defeat to Monarcas Morelia was definitely the most eye-catching result. You got the feeling that following Cruz Azul’s 5-2 win in the Clásico Joven over América that things were finally going to start changing for La Máquina. Well, they were brought down back to reality with this defeat and now find themselves three points away from eighth place Morelia in the fight for the Liguilla. Three points don’t seem like a lot but considering that there is four teams above La Máquina outside the top eight and the standard to qualify is usually 25 points, Cruz Azul would have to win at least three of their remaining four games to have an chance of qualifying. Their schedule also isn’t the easiest, with games against Tigres, León and Santos Laguna coming up.
Violence mars Atletico San Luis vs. Querétaro game
To put it simply, it wasn’t a good week in Liga MX. Following the actions in Veracruz, another Liga MX game stole the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after an all-out brawl broke out between San Luis and Querétaro fans, causing said match to be suspended late in the game.
Video from the stadium of the violence that caused San Luis vs. Queretaro to be suspended #ligamxeng— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) October 20, 2019
( vía @mariaLch16) pic.twitter.com/4yuCMsFOZ0
At the end of the day, this is deeper than football. Like all countries, Mexico has its fair share of problems and safety is definitely one of them. What doesn’t make sense is how a league as rich the Mexican one doesn’t have a way to avoid all of this. Because while there is your fair share of bad apples everywhere, there shouldn’t be a lack of security and fans having to run on the field to protect themselves. Perhaps it is time for higher-ups inside the Mexican Federation to do something about it.
Antonio “Turco” Mohamed makes his Monterrey return with draw against Chivas
It’s definitely not Matias Almeyda. Antonio “Turco” Mohamed officially made his return to the Rayados bench on Sunday as his side settled for a 1-1 draw versus Chivas.
At first glance, this should have been a Monterrey victory, but truth be told, Chivas has always been a sort of bogey team for los Rayados. In fact, Chivas had won in three of their last five visits to the Estadio BBVA Bancomer across all competitions, and while ultimately they didn’t get the win in this one, they did manage to get point thanks to a superb performance from goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez.
For Monterrey, whatever changes Mohamed will bring to the table need to happen fast. With four games remaining in the season, los Rayados still find themselves looking at the Liguilla from the outside. Bringing back Mohamed might have been the safest choice, but considering the type of squad we are dealing with, not making the Liguilla would still be seen as a massive failure.