Liga MX Power Rankings: America stays perfect
A hat trick from Raul Jimenez helped America to a comfortable 4-0 win against Puebla last Saturday to keep Las Aguilas on the top of the Liga MX Power Rankings as the only team with three wins from three games in the nascent Apertura 2014.
Atlas, Queretaro, Toluca and Leon were the big upward movers after impressive wins, while Morelia, Pumas and Puebla gave some serious cause for concern.
1. America (-) - Jimenez's future may be up in the air, but Saturday's game reinforced why America is so keen to keep the 23-year-old striker. The partnership with Oribe Peralta -- who scored his first goal for America -- looks lethal and Las Aguilas are looking ominously strong early in this 2014 Apertura.
2. Monterrey (-) - Not a vintage display against rivals Santos Laguna in the 0-0 home draw on Saturday, but Los Rayados outshot Los Guerreros 13-7, enjoyed 65 percent of possession and had the better chances. The clean sheet also bodes well, with Argentine international center back Jose Maria Basanta having officially departed for Fiorentina last week.
3. Atlas (+5) - Coming from behind twice against Chiapas to win 4-2, this was the type of performance expected from Atlas this season: fluid and dangerous going forward, but vulnerable at the back. Rodrigo Millar's goal -- the team's second -- was a master-class, not just because of the finish, but for the one-touch passing that set him up.
4. Tigres (-1) - Another solid away point for Ricardo Ferretti's side in Tijuana. The 1-1 tie meant Tigres are still undefeated and look to be a difficult team to beat this season. The combination of Jose Torres and Hernan Burbano on the wings is giving balance and the bench, as ever at Tigres, is loaded.
5. Santos Laguna (-) - Los Guerreros displayed their solidity against Monterrey in a game their fans consider a clasico. Santos still need to show they have another gear to shift into when required, but it has been a positive start to the Apertura for Pedro Caixinha's men.
6. Queretaro (+5) - It has taken a while for striker Camilo Sanvezzo to click into gear for Queretaro, but he opened the scoring in its 2-0 win over Pachuca and then set up the second. Combined with his goal in the 1-0 victory over Leones Negros the week before, Sanvezzo is starting to make a difference for Los Gallos Blancos, who are once again looking like a well-organized team under Ignacio Ambriz that could be a dark horse this tournament.
7. Chiapas (-3) - Caught Atlas by surprise on Saturday early on and will be disappointed at letting Los Rojinegros come back into the game after twice taking the lead. Nevertheless, Chiapas caused problems all game for Atlas.
8. Chivas (-2) - Chivas' game against Leones Negros was postponed due to the team playing friendlies against Bayern Munich and AC Milan in the United States. The club got a lucky break from the Liga MX to allow a midseason trip that will permit the team to come back more prepared. Guadalajara's relegation rivals surely can't be happy.
9. Toluca (+4) - A different side when Pablo Velazquez is scoring. He netted both goals against Pumas and they were his first since March. Coach Jose Cardozo will have been especially pleased with the way his team competed, despite being down to 10 men for the second half, after Edgar Benitez was sent off in the 44th minute.
10. Leon (+5) - Saturday's 4-0 victory over Morelia was a welcome reminder of what this Leon side is about. All the goals came in the second half and the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura champions are again contenders after this type of display.
11. Pachuca (-4) - Rumors of problems in the camp aren't being quelled by performances on the pitch. It is now two straight defeats for last season's runner-up.
12. Cruz Azul (-) - La Maquina only hold position because the teams below them were equally or more inept last weekend. Cruz Azul drew 0-0 against Veracruz in a sluggish game. The Mexico City team was the better side, but fans will expect much more moving forward.
13. Puebla (-3) - The worrying thing for Puebla is that it has got progressively worse every game this Apertura. Outclassed by America on Saturday, avoiding relegation is once again the team's main priority.
14. Pumas (-5) - #FueraTrejo (Trejo out) trended on social networks following Pumas' 2-1 loss to Toluca on Sunday. Fans aren't happy with manager Jose Luis Trejo and it is no surprise. Playing against 10 men for the second half, Pumas lacked ideas. Trejo claiming it is more difficult to play against team with 10 men didn't really cut it for fans after the game.
15. Veracruz (+2) - On paper, a point away to Cruz Azul is a very good result. Veracruz looked relatively solid in defense and will have gotten some confidence from the display. The Tiburones Rojos have conceded only once in their first three games, but is yet to score in 270 minutes of the Apertura.
16. Tijuana (-) - Still without a victory, Xolos huffed and puffed against Tigres, but again didn't quite click. Coach Cesar Farias is in need of a win next weekend against last-placed Morelia.
17. Leones Negros (+1) - No game due to Chivas' travels. The rearranged fixture at Estadio Omnilife will be on Sept. 7.
18. Morelia (-4) - Zero goals scored, six conceded in three games. Morelia is struggling and Angel Comizzo's job will already be under threat as manager. It is perhaps no coincidence that as Atlas fortunes rise, those of Morelia are falling; both are owned by Grupo Salinas and the feeling is that the Guadalajara club is very much the priority.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.