The midweek matches are speeding up the process of these final regular season Apertura matches, with Liguilla prospects finally becoming clearer and certain players standing out once more. Here are the big takeaways from Week 16:
1. The Top Three prove why they’re the Top Three. Liguilla spots are slowly being taken up as this weekend saw Monterrey, Pachuca and Tigres Femenil cement their place in the postseason playoffs. Monterrey has completely completed dominated this season, with only two losses the entire tournament (both those losses came against Pachuca and Tigres in away matches) with 44 goals in favor and only 11 against. Couple that with the fact that Desiree Monsiváis has 14 goals this season and up and comers like 16-year-old Aylin Avilez are scoring hat tricks, it’ll be hard to choose anyone but Monterrey as the favorites to win it all.
Still, Pachuca and Tigres have strength of their own. Pachuca’s investment since the very beginning has always provided them with the necessary depth to have a strong team, with Monica Ocampo at the forefront of that position. Her veteran experience and guidance towards the next generation of players will continue to lead the team in the right direction.
There’s no surprise Tigres made it to the Liguilla again. The first team to get back-to-back championships and who have consistently dominated this season even with the managerial change at the beginning of the Apertura, Tigres Femenil are probably the most popular Liga MX Femenil team right now (the interleague match between Houston Dash further proved that). They might not have the dominance that Monterrey is having right now but much like their male counterparts, Tigres Femenil is a different animal in the playoffs.
2. Seriously, Renae Cuellar can’t stop scoring. I spoke about Renae Cuellar a few weeks back and the case she made for Mexican-Americans in the league but since then, the Xolos forward has not stopped making a name for herself in the league. After dominating Pachuca last week in a shocking 2-0 win, Xolos Femenil came out to show their strengths once more against FC Juarez on Thursday, with Renae Cuellar at the forefront of that victory. She was named Player of the Week of Jornada 16 of the entire league thanks to her assist to open up the scoresheet and her two goals (one off a rebound and one off a header) within the span of five minutes in the second half. There might still be a few weeks left so their spot is confirmed just yet but Cuellar is potentially going to be exciting to watch going into the Liguilla.
3. Amèrica Getting Their Groove Back (Maybe). It is definitely been an inconsistent season for America Femenil but it seems like America is finally off on the right track again. Granted, their 3-0 victory was against a Necaxa that has yet to win any matches this season but this win did bring their undefeated streak to six games (their last loss against Chivas in the Clasico Nacional on September 16th). Daniela Espinosa now has nine goals this season and Alexia Villanueva would score a brace and her first two goals of the Apertura during this match and while a league title isn’t exactly a realistic expectation for Las Aguilas, improving at the right now and making the Liguilla would be a strong stepping stone to help this team restructure themselves for next season. America currently stands in fourth place with 28 points — tied with Atlas and Tijuana.