Sometimes it’s difficult to pick apart the best teams in a given season. Even if you’re not a fan of the team, most times you can size up a team and determine whether or not they’re good. Last season’s final was a pretty good example. León was by all objective measures very good while Pumas seemed to ride luck into the series, and unsurprisingly León won. This season hasn’t been as easy. Teams have gotten cold, teams have gotten hot, and even the teams at the top don’t seem to be the dominant forces we saw from León last season. While there have been rare exceptions, such as Rayados pummeling Juárez 6-1 last week, this season seems like anyone’s game while no one has actually stepped up to claim that mantle.
1.) Cruz Azul is superlíder again – Cruz Azul hasn’t allowed a goal in three games and has won their last eight in a row, a pretty impressive accomplishment for a team that to me still hasn’t had a signature win this season. Maybe it’s the cruzazuleada, but I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop on this team. They have eked out three 1-0 wins in a row against León, Mazatlán FC, and Pumas, and their win against Pumas was thanks to an iffy penalty call late in the game. They’ll get plenty of opportunity to show this isn’t a fluke, as they’re hosting Monterrey and a red-hot Atlas before the international break.
2.) Chivas hasn’t lost in their last six games – I didn’t believe this either until I looked. Their last loss was against FC Juárez back on January 30th. It doesn’t feel like it though, probably because of the way they’ve gone about it. Their only wins were against León and Pumas, both of whom have been bad following a season where they faced each other in the final. They’ve drawn Mazatlán FC, Querétaro, Pachuca, and Necaxa, all of whom (except Querétaro) are currently outside of the repechaje zone. They’re going to face América this weekend in the Clásico Nacional, which brings me to point number three…
3.) América hasn’t impressed either – América has gotten a point in seven of their last eight games, however their lone loss was a 3-0 loss to Atlas thanks to having Federico Viñas on the bench while unregistered. Like the other teams mentioned on this list, they seem to have kind of fallen into place rather than had a real statement win. Perhaps it’s the unforced errors or the unconvincing wins against teams like León, or maybe it’s the difference in style between Santiago Solari and former manager Miguel Herrera, but I can’t shake the feeling that we haven’t seen a good win from América. Maybe they’re a paper tiger, or maybe they’re saving the fury for the Liguilla. We’ll find out soon enough.