Liga MX draft analysis: Rodolfo Pizarro, Omar Gonzalez starting fresh
This summer's Liga MX draft ultimately proved to be far more quiet than usual. Lost in the media frenzy surrounding the Mexican national team, Wednesday's event in Cancun was largely overlooked. The fact that only 55 transactions were made didn't exactly help either.
Nevertheless, there was no lack of intriguing and noteworthy moves that were either made or confirmed. While a squad such as Cruz Azul had already signed a number of key players before Wednesday, countless others were left chasing and trading some of the best figures in the league.
In case you missed any of the midweek moves, here are the nine biggest transactions from the Liga MX draft.
Rodolfo Pizarro, FW, from Chivas to Monterrey
This was by far the biggest deal from the draft day. After rumblings and rumors of a likely move to northern Mexico, Los Rayados made it official on Wednesday. The 24-year-old is one of the more promising young Mexicans in the league, and despite interests from European clubs, Monterrey was able to find a way to sign the midfielder from Chivas.
Now the big question is what role Pizarro will play in an already daunting attack.
William da Silva, MF, from Club America to Toluca
Toluca did an excellent job adding someone as versatile and well-rounded as da Silva. Although the Brazilian seems to be slightly past the peak of his career at 31 years old, the midfielder can still provide plenty of experience and energy for his new starting XI.
Following a stint with Club America that lasted nearly three years, the veteran now will try to find a place with Toluca, last season's losing finalist.
Jorge Sanchez, DF, from Santos Laguna to Club America
Sanchez isn't one of the biggest names in Liga MX, but it's only a matter of time before more fans start talking about the up-and-coming full-back. The 20-year-old Mexican, who made his league debut for Santos Laguna in September 2016, now appears set to be an exciting backup for Club America's Paul Aguilar.
Given some time in the league or a run in the Copa MX, Sanchez is in the perfect place to learn and continue to develop his already impressive traits as an energetic right-back.
Omar Gonzalez, DF, from Pachuca to Atlas (to be confirmed)
Although neither Atlas nor Pachuca have yet made it official, a couple of reports already have stated that Gonzalez has joined Los Rojinegros. The incorporation of the 29-year-old U.S. international is a smart one for Atlas. Last season, their back line regularly looked worrisome, with 26 goals allowed in 17 games. With the tall and physical defender now in the setup, Atlas now will have a much-needed aggressive presence on their roster.
Andres Andrade, MF, from Leon to Atlas
A fascinating move that could pay off big-time for Atlas next season. It's still unclear whether this transaction is a loan deal or not from Leon, but either way, the Colombian has the capability to become an immediate starter for his new club. The agile winger continues to be a headache for Liga MX defenders, and with plenty of power behind his shooting, Andrade should prove to be invaluable for Atlas.
Carlos Pena, MF, from Rangers to Necaxa
It's been difficult to watch recent developments in Pena's career. Late last month, the Mexican midfielder reportedly checked into a rehabilitation clinic following the end of his loan spell with Cruz Azul. Still under contract with Scotland's Rangers, Pena is now being sent on loan to Necaxa.
"We all deserve a second chance," said Necaxa sporting director Mario Hernandez regarding the move. Far from the promising player he once was, many will have their fingers crossed that this is the exact kind of restart that the 28-year-old needs.
Carlos Fierro, MF, from Chivas to Morelia
It's almost shocking to think that Fierro is still only 23. After gaining success with Mexico's youth national teams, many have been waiting years for the winger's breakout season. There's no denying that the former Chivas player has an immense amount of raw talent, and with a new move to Morelia, several Liga MX fans will be keeping a close eye on the speedy Mexican youngster.
Michael Orozco, DF, from Club Tijuana to Lobos BUAP
When given time on the field for Xolos in the 2018 Clausura, Orozco quickly surpassed expectations with his strong and stable performances as a right-back. Unfortunately for the 32-year-old American international, injury problems eventually hindered much of his momentum as the season progressed.
After falling out of favor with Tijuana, the defender now will have a chance to highlight that he still has much to offer for Lobos BUAP.
Jonathan Espericueta, MF, from Tigres to Puebla
Similar to Fierro, countless Mexico supporters have been eagerly waiting to see the development of Espericueta. Lost amid Tigres' incredible roster depth, the 23-year-old has been given only one start in Liga MX. Now, after two full seasons as a key player with Atletico San Luis in Mexico's second division, Espericueta appears ready to finally make a name for himself in late 2018.
Despite the fact that the central midfielder isn't more prominent than a handful of other draft-day transfers, Espericueta has the untapped talent to truly thrive with new club Puebla.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.