1) Marco Fabian is ready to take the next step.
Inconsistency has always been Marco Fabian’s biggest enemy, but on Sunday he showed why he may be ready to take the next step in his career. Fabian scored the hat-trick that led Chivas past Atlas in the “Clasico Tapatio” quarterfinal, and he was absolutely phenomenal.
Fabian has showed time and time again that he knows how to score some brilliant goals, but that’s about all he has shown at times. Now under Jose Manuel de la Torre’s second stint at Chivas, Fabian has learned to apply himself on the field. He looks like a player who doesn’t shy away from doing the dirty work, and his stunning goals are just an added bonus. Europe may be calling after the Copa America.
2) Next season for Gustavo Matosas is win the league title or say goodbye.
Despite a spirited performance with 10 men, Club America were eliminated from the Liguilla by Pachuca in a thrilling 4-3 game at the Estadio Azteca on Saturday. Gustavo Matosas seems to have the backing of higher-management for another season, and one of the worst things Club America could do is disrupt a process and bring in another manager.
It is obvious that some players just don’t fit the billing for Matosas and changes are coming las Aguilas way next season. Issues on the defensive end persist, and one wonders how long it will take for Matosas to figure out how much this team needs an appropriate defensive midfielder. Something will have to happen in the summer because his job will certainly be on the line next season.
3) Erick Gutierrez looks like a player for the future.
There are signs to indicate that Erick Gutierrez can become a midfielder every bit as good as former Pachuca-man Hector Herrera. The 19-year-old put on a clinic in Pachuca’s first-leg against America, and was the architect of the Tuzos’ first-leg win.
Gutierrez is a completely different player than Herrera, one that lays deep at times and measures his runs when going forward. His maturity on the field is why it is likely he will be captain of Mexico at the U-20 World Cup later this month.
However, therein lies the problem with Pachuca. Gutierrez and Hirving Lozano will miss the rest of the Liguilla to join the U-20 team, and Pachuca will have to cope the rest of the competition without them.
4) Victor Manuel Vucetich is a manager made for the Liguilla.
While there are managers like Tomas Boy who fail to step up to the occasion, Victor Manuel Vucetich is two games away from another Liga MX final. Queretaro’s turnaround under Vucetich continues to be worth admiring, and despite injuries and a limited squad, “King Midas” has made a competitive team out of “Los Gallos”.
Ahead of their semifinal clash against Pachuca, Queretaro have lost only once in their last nine games. Queretaro’s great play has been as such that even Ronaldinho is rumored to be wanting to stick around another season.
5) Tigres need to back up their Liga MX elimination with South American success.
As things go in the Liga MX, it isn’t shocking to see an eighth seeded team knock out the first-place team. However, first-place Tigres didn’t break a sweat as they fell to Santos Laguna on Saturday. It almost seemed like Tigres didn’t mind getting eliminated.
Ricardo Ferretti’s side had emphasized that their number one priority was the Copa Libertadores, but it was a woeful way to go out. Now Tigres face Emelec on Tuesday for their Copa Libertadores quarterfinal first-leg and anything less than the semifinals would be a failure.