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Canales: Good and bad Club America

Liga MX 19 hours ago
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Best XI of Liga MX, Week 12

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 By Tom Marshall
Aug 12, 2014

Liga MX power rankings: America, Atlas break away

Club America boss Antonio Mohamed has Las Aguilas firing on all cylinders in Liga MX.
Club America boss Antonio Mohamed has Las Aguilas firing on all cylinders in Liga MX.

Who can stop Club America this season?

Not Tigres, who fell 2-0 to Las Aguilas at home in a clinical performance by Antonio Mohamed's side that cemented them at the top of the Liga MX with four wins from four games of the Apertura 2014.

The only challenger in touching distance of America at this early stage is surprise-package Atlas, who defeated Pumas 1-0 on Sunday in Mexico City to remain the only other defeated side.

Elsewhere last weekend, Chivas, Santos Laguna and Pumas flopped down the power rankings after poor results and performances.

1. America (-): The imminent loss of Raul Jimenez will affect the team -- it would to any in the Liga MX -- but that's why Oribe Peralta was brought in over the offseason. Mohamed has America looking like a well-oiled machine, capable of dominating teams or, as on Saturday, playing on the counter-attack.

2. Atlas (+1):  Momentum and confidence is growing at Atlas. The team is improving each week and the 1-0 win on Sunday was flattering to Pumas. The midfield combination of Juan Carlos Medina, Rodrigo Millar and Aldo Leao started together for the first time on Sunday and dominated Pumas. It is quite possibly the best midfield in the Liga MX.

3. Monterrey (-1): Los Rayados were better team against Veracruz for the vast majority of the match, but two goals in the last 12 minutes saw the Tiburones Rojos win 2-1. Aside from not picking up the points, the immediately pressing concern is that Monterrey's figurehead Humberto Suazo limped off with a hamstring injury.

4. Queretaro (+2):  A well-organized unit under Nacho Ambriz, Queretaro fought hard for an impressive 3-2 win away at Santos Laguna on Saturday and is set to compete this season. It's now three goals in four games for Brazilian Camilo Sanvezzo.

5. Chiapas (+2): They are one of the most exciting teams in Liga MX to watch at the moment. Chiapas stormed back from two goals down to win 3-2 against champions Leon and won't be scared of anyone this season.

6. Tigres (-2): It has all become a little predictable at Tigres. Ricardo Ferretti's side was far from poor against America, but there is a lack of a cutting edge in the final third and teams are learning to soak up the pressure and stay compact to counter the Monterrey team's possession-based game. On Saturday, Tigres had 18 shots at goal and enjoyed 67 percent of possession, yet America ran out deserved winners.

7. Pachuca (+4): The 3-0 victory over Chivas was very welcome, especially with doubts starting to grow over whether Los Tuzos have the required goal-scoring threat now that Enner Valencia has left for West Ham.

8. Santos Laguna (-3): Los Guerreros have to be winning home games against the likes of Queretaro to be challenging, although a trip to Chivas next weekend will be considered winnable by manager Pedro Caixinha.

9. Toluca (-): The better side in the 0-0 tie on the road to Leones Negros, but Toluca continue to be uninspiring and a pale imitation of the team that it was in the Clausura regular season as the club adapts to life after Sinha. Isaac Brizuela needs to return to form, while head coach Jose Cardozo's tactical tinkering hasn't done the trick.

10. Cruz Azul (+2): Watching La Maquina this season so far has been anything but pretty. Saturday's 1-0 win against Puebla was no different. The Mexico City club has scored twice in four games and only conceded two goals.

11. Veracruz (+4): The importance of the three points against Monterrey can't be over-emphasized. Veracruz improved to 15th in the relegation table with the win, placing it above Leones Negros, Puebla and Chivas. More than anything, however, the fact that Veracruz showed spirit and fight to come from behind to overcome Monterrey bodes well moving forward.

12. Leon (-2): There's never a dull moment with Leon, and just as it seemed it would be cruising to a comfortable win in Chiapas, La Fiera collapsed in the second half on Saturday. The team has netted nine goals and conceded nine in just four games.

13. Chivas (-5): A disastrous outing on Saturday. Chivas' usually reliable defense failed and the team lacked ideas going forward. Relegation is still a pressing concern.

14 Tijuana (+2): Missed a golden opportunity to post its first win of the season when Cristian Pellerano put a second half penalty over the bar against Morelia in the 0-0 draw. Nevertheless, although this has been a poor start to the Apertura for Xolos, a point away has to be considered a positive and moves them up. The next challenge is at home to Chiapas.

15. Puebla (-2): The pressure of relegation is on, and although a 1-0 defeat away to Cruz Azul isn't disastrous, Puebla has declined from a good opening day performance in Tijuana. Ruben Omar Romano's job is insecure at present.

The Apertura went from bad to worse for Dario Veron and Pumas in their weekend defeat to Atlas.
The Apertura went from bad to worse for Dario Veron and Pumas in their weekend defeat to Atlas.

16. Pumas (-2): Struggled against Atlas on Sunday, looking like the away team for most of the game. Coach Jose Luis Trejo's days appear to be numbered, with Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre, Victor Manuel Vucetich and Hugo Sanchez all big names looking for jobs.

17. Leones Negros (-): The first point of the Guadalajara team's return was welcome, but one goal in three games is a problem and there was nothing on display against Toluca to suggest Leones Negros won't be relegation strugglers come the end of the season.

18. Morelia (-): Monarcas haven't scored a goal in 360 minutes of the Apertura 2014. That statistic tells you all you need to know about their season so far.

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