Five lessons from Liga MX Apertura Week Two
Slowly, but surely, the 2014 Apertura has started to take shape and all of Liga MX's teams are still finding their identities.
Fans and critics are beginning to build a better idea of what the rest of the season may look like for their respective teams.
Perhaps Leon won't be the powerhouse they have been in the past couple of seasons. Maybe Chiapas will sneak into the playoffs. Will Club Tijuana find a solution to their problems?
While it can be easy to discuss the various implications and reasons for all of the scores and displays, there are a handful that stood-out to me.
Here are five lessons that I learned from the Liga MX this weekend:
1. Francisco Rodriguez isn't Cruz Azul's weak link
A few eyebrows were understandably raised when Rodriguez transferred to Cruz Azul during the summer. He didn't appear to be an ideal fit and seemed like another yellow card waiting to happen on La Maquina's starting eleven.
Since the start of the World Cup, the veteran has a found a bit of composure defensively and has been a fantastic leader. In his first start with Cruz Azul over the weekend, Rodriguez added another depth of confidence in the defensive line. I myself have doubted his abilities in the past but he appears to be playing very competently.
Can he keep this up for the rest of the season?
2. Tigres can score...for now
After their 0-0 tie against Atlas in their first match of the season, worries about the lack of goals from Tigres were once again brought up. Last season, the side were only able to score a measly 13 goals in 17 games.
Maybe they were just saving up for last Saturday's match. Led by two goals from Hernan Burbano, Tigres were able to rack up four goals in a 4-2 win against the recent champions Leon. The last time Los Felinos scored four goals in a match was in February of last year against Toluca.
The team's fans will need to keep their fingers crossed that this game wasn't just a stroke of luck, but for now, they can rest easy knowing it had one of the best attacking units from the weekend.
3. Los Esmeraldas continue to struggle
It might be a bit too early to start making judgements about Leon, but losing the first two games of the season doesn't exactly bode well for the recent champions. The squad needs a win, and they need it soon.
Leon have the strong chance for taking three much-needed points when they take on Morelia this upcoming weekend at home. Losing to America is completely understandable, but if Leon fail to capture at least one point in their first three matches of the season, some serious reevaluating of the squad might need to happen.
4. Chiapas excel and surprise
During the past couple of seasons, Chiapas have narrowly missed the Liguilla by the slightest of margins. This season may prove to be different. Los Jaguares have played attack-friendly futbol in their first two matches and it has paid off. With a 2-1 win over a Toluca, the squad must now feel that anything is possible.
The team has the potential to be the dark horse of the tournament, but they will need to continue with their impressive form. Especially considering their tough games against America and Leon next month, as well as an away match against Tijuana.
5. Fernando Arce has carried Chivas
Chivas were mediocre at best in their first match and were able to somehow sneak past Pumas this weekend. They now have four points from said matches and it is all thanks to one player, Arce.
Los Rojiblancos' two goals this season have been produced by two separate free-kicks from the midfielder. With Omar Bravo completely missing chance after chance, Arce may emerge as Chivas' savior this season.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.