The relegation battle in the Liga MX is heating up, and for the first time, Chivas will be battling for their survival in the top-flight of Mexican soccer. With three teams tied in last place and Chivas right above, here are 5 players who are sure to be determinant in deciding who goes down to the Ascenso MX.
Carlos Salcido – Chivas
Carlos Salcido made his return to Chivas with the knowledge that Chivas wouldn’t be battling at the top of the table, but they would be battling for survival. Salcido has embraced his role as a leader in Chivas’ unfortunate situation, and he has been one of the bright spots for the Rebaño Sagrado. In 2015, he will have to put the team on his back once again and hope the Clausura is a turning point from Chivas’ recent misery.
Daniel Villalva – Veracruz
Despite the arrival of several South American attacking options for Veracruz in the Clausura 2015, Daniel “Keko” Villalva is poised to continue to be the go-to player for Los Tiburones Rojos. The ex-River Plate man was sensational for Veracruz last season, and in addition to his four goals, he proved to be tired-less for opposing defenses. The 22-year-old will look to repeat the feat in 2015.
Matias Alustiza – Puebla
Last December, Matias Alustiza made his return to Puebla after a short 6-month stint with Pachuca. The Argentine forward never finished consolidating himself in Enrique Meza’s rotation, but he is back into familiar lands where he hopes to be one of the key pieces in Puebla’s attack. The 30-year-old has made a total of 60 appearances for Puebla and scored 24 goals in the past. Along with Herculez Gomez, Alustiza is expected to be in charge of La Franja’s attack.
Fidel Martinez – Leones Negros
It was an average showing for Leones Negros in their first 6 months back in the top flight of Mexican soccer, but their best player in those 6 months was Fidel Martinez. Dubbed the “Ecuadorian Neymar”, Martinez will have help this time around with the arrival of new attacking options for the Guadalajara-side. The need to score and create goals for Leones Negros will be urgent, and Fidel Martinez will need to find his form if Leones Negros plan on staying in the Liga MX much longer.
Omar Bravo – Chivas
It is no secret that Chivas suffered heavily with an inability to put the ball in the back of the net during the Apertura 2014. Despite their scoring woes, “Chepo” De la Torre has stuck with Omar Bravo through the tough times, and 2015 will look to be no different. Now more than ever, Chivas will look for Omar Bravo to be a leader and a goalscorer. Bravo is only 8 goals away from becoming Chivas’ all-time goalscorer, but before that, he might have to lead Chivas to survival.