America- It should come to no surprise that Club America were one of the big winners when it comes to transfers for the Clausura 2015. They got their deals early and they got them done. The purchases of Darwin Quintero and Dario Benedetto add an impressive layer of depth to Las Aguilas’ attack. Likewise, Miguel Samudio adds an extra option at the fullback positions. In the case that Miguel Layun does make a move to Europe or if new manager Gustavo Matosas decides to play him in the midfield, Samudio can fill in at fullback. The only sensible loss at the team was that of Jesus Molina. Molina was stellar for Club America in their championship run, but in return they got a defensive midfielder that could easily be one of the best in the Liga MX in Pellerano. Lastly, the Mexico City club got rid of some of the deadwood like Mendoza, Valenzuela, and Rey. With the combination of Gustavo Matosas arriving to the club, their bid for a a back-to-back title looks strong.
Monterrey- On paper, Monterrey was one of the big winners after today’s draft. They continue their tendency of digging into their pockets to purchase good South American stars, today was no exception. Stefan Medina was one of the most impressive signings last season, and this season, they hope that Alexander Mejia and Edwin Cardona can do the same. Humberto Suazo’s shoes will be hard to fill; Yimmy Chara might not be that striker, but it at least addresses a position in which Monterrey were lacking a man. You can question Monterrey’s decision to keep their current manager, Carlos Barra, in charge, but they will bet on consistency and their new South American stars to bring another title to Rayados.
Veracruz- It is always a risk when Liga MX teams choose to buy foreign players. There is always that famous “adaptation period” that we hear over and over again. While that might hold some truth, Veracruz will take every risk they can to save themselves from relegation. Juan Angel Albin, Fernando Meneses, and Julio Cesar Furch arrive to the club, and as a statement, Veracruz’s intentions are at least admirable. It was in the attacking department that Veracruz looked particularly frail last season, and they decided to address that as best they could. As a bonus, Hector Mancilla returned to the club having previously won a scoring title with the team. Whether it is enough to save them from relegation is entirely a different question.
Leon- They didn’t purchase any players, but they didn’t lose any of their star players either. With Matosas’ departure from the team, it was an end of an era. It was expected that an exodus of players would follow, but that wasn’t the case. For now, new manager Antonio Pizzi can evaluate his team, and the 2015 Clausura might be a sort of transitional season for this Leon side.
Atlas- The first questionable decision from the Atlas board came when they decided to retain Tomas Boy as their manager. Likewise, questions have to be asked about the transfer purchases of a team that will be competing in two tournaments. They purchased a Brazilian striker, Keno, with a modest goal-scoring record from the second tier of Brazilian soccer. Rodrigo Godinez arrived from Morelia and isn’t exactly a big name signing. Carlos Ochoa’s arrival from Veracruz isn’t very impressive when you consider that better strikers made moves to other team’s in today’s draft. Moreover, Maikon Leite’s departure of the club left a big gaping hole in the wing that Atlas failed to address. But it wasn’t entirely bad for Atlas. Valenzuela looks like a good option at center-back, while Juan Pablo Rodriguez is still a good player in the midfield. The impending signing of Walter Kannemann is the kind of signing you’d like to see for Atlas, but he was the only real quality signing. All in all, Atlas will only be competing in one tournament by the looks of it.
Tigres- Like with Atlas, it looked like Tigres was getting ready for the Copa MX and not the Copa Libertadores. Their priority now has to be to purchase a quality striker. Enrique Esqueda and Dario Carreno hardly fit that bill. Dieter Villalpando has to be their only good signing. The ex-Pachuca youngster could fit in nicely as a Gerardo Lugo alternative to Ricardo Ferretti’s sometimes false-9 scheme. At the end of the day, Tigres don’t look like a team that will be fighting in two tournaments.
Tijuana- They arguably lost their two best players to America, and received Ricardo da Silva from Queretaro in return. It seems like ages ago that Tijuana was lifting the Liga MX trophy. There is still plenty of time for Tijuana to purchase a foreign player or two, but they look like one of the losers for now.
Queretaro- Ronaldinho and Emmanuel Villa can’t win you championships alone.
Chivas- Isaac Brizuela might be the kind of player that finally forces Jose Manuel de la Torre to play with an actual winger. Brizuela is a quality player, the kind that Chivas hasn’t purchased in a very long time. Bringin Erick “Cubo” Torres back also seems like a good idea, but that is until you read the fine print. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a team loaning themselves a player they own. This seems to give every indication that the MLS is Cubo’s next likely destination. But what if Cubo starts scoring goals left and right for Chivas. What happens then? Moreover, Miguel Ponce also makes his return from his loan. He is a good player, but a player that is visibly not happy at Chivas. The only reason they are keeping him is because of Chivas’ inability to negotiate him out of the club and that is also a problem. The same could be said about Marco Fabian who returns from Cruz Azul. The player’s contract is due in six months. If Chivas fail to negotiate Marco Fabian with a team in the next few days, Fabian can leave the club on a free in the summer. Remember all those times Jorge Vergara complained about not receiving enough money for Fabian? He is six months away from receiving zero for the player. Vergara is a businessman, and he should know that in the business world, that’s what we call a bad investment. I’ll let you decide if Chivas is a winner or loser.