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 Posted by Tom Marshall
Jul 28, 2014

Liga MX Power Rankings -- Apertura Week 2: America rises

Pablo Aguilar and Club America continued their strong start with a win over Club Tijuana.

Tigres and Chivas were the biggest upward movers in round two of matches in the Apertura 2014, with reigning champion Leon and Pumas slipping furthest.

A late goal from Pablo Aguilar handed America a 2-1 win over Club Tijuana to see Las Aguilas move up to top spot, with Monterrey the other team on six points after two games, but not really impressing in its 1-0 win against Pachuca.

1. America (+2) -- Another win for America against a Xolos side that fought hard and caused it problems. Antonio Mohamed must take a lot of the credit for throwing forwards Raul Jimenez and Michael Arroyo on at halftime and taking the game to Tijuana, even if his side did have the rub of the green with refereeing decisions. America outshot Tijuana 19-5, enjoyed almost 60 percent of possession and found a way to win.

2. Monterrey (-1) -- Los Rayados battled in a difficult game away against Pachuca and had goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco to thank for the fact Carlos Barra's side was still level when Dorlan Pabon came up with the 90th minute winner. Los Tuzos had been the better side, but Monterrey's strength in depth was on display when the speedy Pabon came on as a late sub.

3. Tigres (+9) -- It's difficult to remember another team treating Leon with as much disdain than Tigres on Saturday night, with Hernan Burbano netting twice in the first 24 minutes against a side going for a historic third consecutive league championship. If Tigres can show that kind of performance consistently, they'll take some stopping this season, especially with Uruguay international Egidio Arevalo in this kind of form.

4. Chiapas (+3) -- The surprise package so far, Chiapas held on for a 2-1 win over Toluca on Saturday, playing the entire second half with 10 players. Jaguares may be a team that hasn't played much together, but there is a solidity about them, combined with a potent attacking threat.

5. Santos Laguna (+1) -- Two solid performances so far from Los Guerreros and four points in the bag. The 1-1 draw on Friday against Cruz Azul was hardly spectacular, but forwards Andres Renteria and Darwin Quintero are showing signs that there is life after Oribe Peralta.

6. Chivas (+9) -- The second half of Chivas' 1-0 win in Ciudad Universitaria against Pumas was the best the Guadalajara team has played in some time. Carlos Bustos switched to a 5-2-3 formation and it seemed to work. The only downside was Angel Reyna's unnecessary red card.

7. Pachuca (-3) -- Los Tuzos did most things right in their loss to Monterrey, apart from put the ball in the back of the net. It was the kind of game in which Enner Valencia made the difference in Pachuca's favor last season.

8. Atlas (+5) -- Not a vintage display from Atlas, who are still waiting for Juan Carlos Medina and Aldo Leao to get fit enough to be able to start games, but any 2-0 road win has to be put down as a positive. Enrique Esqueda scored the first from 40 yards in what was the best goal of the round of matches.

9. Pumas (-7) -- Brought down to earth with a bang after an impressive win over Queretaro in week one, Pumas seemed to lack ideas against Chivas and deservedly lost. Daniel Luduena makes the team tick and when he isn't on form, Pumas look set to struggle.

10. Puebla (-5) -- Saturday's 0-0 draw against relegation rivals Veracruz in the Estadio Cuauhtemoc was a missed opportunity. A 41-year-old by the name of Cuauhtemoc Blanco came on in the 63rd minute and revitalized Puebla, but these are games La Franja needs to be winning in its battle to stay in the Liga MX.

11. Queretaro (-1) -- It may seem slightly unfair that Gallos Blancos go down a place after defeating Leones Negros 1-0 on Sunday, but coach Ignacio Ambriz won't have been happy with what he saw. Camilo Sanvezzo's goal came from a mistake by the opposition and there was little of the cohesion that Queretaro had shown in its week one loss to Pumas.

12. Cruz Azul (+2) -- A point away to Santos Laguna has to be a positive, but La Maquina is still not at the races early on this Apertura.

13. Toluca (-5) -- Similar to Cruz Azul, Toluca has been a let down so far. Striker Pablo Velazquez hasn't clicked into gear as yet and Lucas Lobos wasn't involved against Chiapas.

14. Morelia (-3) -- The youngest starting XI of the weekend, Morelia looked green. Monarcas did play better football than Atlas for large periods, but failed to capitalize on the score-sheet. The loss of Jefferson Montero, Aldo Leão Ramírez and Hector Mancilla over the offseason would hurt any team in the Liga MX and Morelia is no exception.

15. Leon (-6) -- Although there were some sparks of life at 2-0 and then 3-1, La Fiera was a shadow of its old self against Tigres, struggling for fluidity all over the field. Manager Gustavo Matosas has a tough job ahead to get the spark back into players that have won all the plaudits and two trophies over the last year. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough, in particular, is looking down on confidence and leaked another easy goal.

16. Tijuana (-) -- Xolos put in a decent performance in the Estadio Azteca against a good America side, but the team now has zero points from two games and needs to start winning. Otherwise, Cesar Farias may start to fear for his job.

17. Veracruz (+1) -- Veracruz has yet to score a goal this season and although the away draw to Puebla was a solid result, much more is required.

18. Leones Negros (-1) -- The team's home opener was major let-down, with just over 25,000 in the stands of the 57,000-capacity Estadio Jalisco and the team putting in a performance on the field that highlighted exactly why the Guadalajara side has to be the early favorite for relegation next May. Manager Alfonso Sosa is already under pressure and has asked for more time to get his hastily put-together team functioning.


Tom Marshall

Tom Marshall has been based in Guadalajara since 2008 and has specialized in writing about Mexican football ever since. As well as contributing to ESPN Insider's Mexico National Team blog (@ESPNtri), he co-hosts The Mexican Soccer Show podcast and can be found on twitter @MexicoWorldCup