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Two Pumas say goodbye as Pablo Barrera leaves for San Luis and David Cabrera to Necaxa

Ignacio Malcorra was also released but hasn’t moved to a new team.

Pumas UNAM v Atletico San Luis - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Two veterans of Pumas failed to reach an agreement with the club and concluded their time with los auriazules. Pablo Barrera and David Cabrera ended their second tenures with the club after not reaching an agreement, announcing their departure to other clubs. Barrera will now be playing with Atletico San Luis while Cabrera will go play at Necaxa under ex-Pumas head coach Guillermo Vasquez. Pumas also announced that Argentine Victor Ignacio Malcorra also ended his time with a club, but it hasn’t yet been announced which club will he be moving to.

Pablo Barrera and David Cabrera are two of the last great prospects with notable careers with Pumas. Barrera is clearly the most notable of them. Barrera came through the youth teams in Pumas and came through with a bang, making the U20 Mexican National team that played in the 2007 World Cup in Canada. The team made it to the Quarterfinals with Barrera scoring two goals. He returned to Pumas where he was a key prospect, especially in the Pumas team that reached the final of the Apertura 2007. Unfortunately for him, he got injured and missed six months in 2008 but came back stronger, having a great time with Pumas. This included being a key player and scoring the winning goal in Pumas’ Liga MX title winning season in the Clausura 2009 and making the Mexican National Team that won the 2009 Gold Cup. Barrera continued being a regular with the Senior team, making the team that played in the 2010 World Cup. After a good performance in the competition he went to Europe and played at West Ham United and later at Zaragoza. During that time he was part of the Mexican team who won the 2011 Gold Cup, with him scoring two goals in the final against the United States in what would be his last great tournament with the NT. His spell in Europe wasn’t the best, so he returned to Mexico with Cruz Azul, where he had some moments but also missed almost a year with an injury that changed his career. He later went to Monterrey, where he struggled before returning to Pumas. His second spell in Pumas was very inconsistent. Barrera had good moments especially in the seasons when Pumas got to the Liguilla like the Apertura 2016 and Apertura 2018. Yet for most of the seasons, Barrera started them strongly and faded as the tournament continued. Barrera also lost a lot of speed and seemed to suffer from the hot conditions in which Pumas play every Sunday. Still, Barrera should be part of the greats in Pumas and is probably the last solid NT player Pumas had produced before Jesus Gallardo.

David Cabrera was another great prospect to come through Pumas. Like Barrera, he was part of the team that won the Clausura 2009. Cabrera later made the first team and was a key part of the Pumas team that won the Liga MX title in 2011, the last Liga MX title Pumas won. Cabrera was a key player with the U23 team that was in the process for the 2012 OIympics. Unfortunately during the U23 Olympic qualifying Tournament, in the semifinals against Canada (where Mexico clinched their ticket to the Olympics and in which he was one of the best players), Cabrera injured his ACL and was out for six months. Not only did Cabrera miss the Olympics, but he was never able to regain the level shown in that tournament. Still, Cabrera had a solid time in Pumas although eventually his level dropped off. Cabrera later left for a spell in Morelia before returning to Pumas. His second spell with Pumas had some good moments but also some very inconsitent play, and he eventually lost his starting spot. Cabrera didn’t seem to get much opportunity under new coach Michel and his departure is even less surprising than Barrera’s.

Joining Barrera and Cabrera, will be Victor Malcorra. Malcorra had a short spell in Pumas after arriving from Tijuana, but the Argentinean had become Public Enemy No. 1 for Pumas fans after his deficient level of play, especially after the game against FC Juarez in the Apertura 2019. In that game, Malcorra missed a penalty kick with the game 1-0 and Juarez ended up tying the game which ended Pumas chance to qualify to the Liguilla. In this last season, Clausura 2020, Malcorra got booed every time he came in from the bench and although he had a great game in their 3-3 tie with America, it wasn’t enough, and he will leave Pumas as a villain for most fans. All three departures look as if Pumas will be moving to try to get younger in their squad, and some players will have to move on. It might also look like Pumas isn’t doing as great financially and will suffer with the COVID-19 Emergency more than other teams. Stuff like that all points to the fact they will be looking inward as they go towards the Apertura 2020.