FC Column: Playoffs for MLS and Liga MX

It’s playoff season in the North American soccer leagues. MLS and Liga MX are both ready to crown a champion. Let’s see who are contenders for the title.

In Liga MX, the main season has just ended last weekend, with the final match being Santos Laguna vs. Atletico San Luis which ended in a 0-0 but this 0-0 is a big accomplishment for San Luis. First Athletico San Luis’s owners are the current champions of La Liga in Spain: Athletico de Madrid. So it was rather strange that Athletico San Luis had never had a major effect on Liga MX in past seasons, they end in the lowest positions and received the ugliest losses, for example, this year they lost 2-6 against Atlas. But finally, in the tie against Santos, they received 1 point putting them in 12th place giving them access to the league Wild Card. So now San Luis has a very small chance to contend for the Liga MX title. They are the Underdog team to keep an eye on. On the other hand, we have the team that has ruled Liga MX the whole season Club America. This team has a 10-5-2 record which claimed them the first position since the 3rd to last match week. This explains the losses and ties they had in their last 2 games but also their Coach Santiago Solari has given the team a break and he wanted to get some of his injured stars back in good shape for example his left winger Mauro Lainez who has played an important part in the left striking side of the team. The midfielders Richard Sanchez and Pedro Aquino, but not only that, his star defenders Bruno Valdez, Sebastian Caseres, and Emmanuel Aguilera. But after the end of the season, the World cup qualifiers which are played by the National Teams and the wild card playoffs of the league give the 4 teams who have direct access to the quarter-finals 18 days to prepare for the main playoffs. My favorite contenders to the title are Club America, Club Leon, and Tigres UANL.

Major League Soccer playoffs are set to start November 23, just 3 days after the start of the Liga MX wild card round. The Eastern Conference was intense for all teams below 1st place because New England Revolution ruled their conference with 73 points compared to 2nd place Philadelphia Union who only has 54 points. Does that make The Revolution a contender to win the MLS Cup? Not really, this team has the record for the most lost Finals, 5 lost finals. Speaking about champions, the current cup holder, Columbus Crew ended in 9th place leaving them out of the playoffs entirely. This is a disease that happens often called: Championitis. It’s usually when a team recently wins a title and the next season they play terribly. The western conference had a crazy turnaround from the leader. Colorado Rapids destroyed LA Galaxy with a final score of 5 to 2. The top position was not guaranteed for them until the next match which was a supposed guaranteed win for Seattle at home against 6th place Vancouver. But the final score ended up being a 1 to 1 tie. This gave Colorado Rapids 1st place and direct access to the conference semi-finals.

This Friday don´t forget about the fight of the giants: USA National Team vs. The Mexico National Team. These two are going to fight over the first position in the Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers. The game is set to be played in the TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. When planing the game, the team wanted to find the most hostile place for the Mexico team and farthest from the US Mexico Border, they also just wanted to flex the new stadium, but what the stadium needs, is a new team, Cincinnati FC finished in last place in the Eastern Conference. Some of the players to keep an eye on are: Jesus Corona(MX) , Christian Pulisic(US), Tim Weah(US), and The Wolf: Raul Jimenez(MX). You can watch the game on Fox Sports, Univision, and TUDN. Watch this rivalry at 9:10 on Friday, November 12th.