Liga MX is back! Lessons from the refs' strike; El Tri national teamers to watch
It's been a hectic couple of weeks in Liga MX. After a referees' strike caused the cancellation of Week 10 (which was later rescheduled to April 11-13), domestic play is set to resume this weekend, with the Clasico Capitalino taking center stage. On top of it all, Juan Carlos Osorio announced his Mexico roster for FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday.
With this in mind, we asked our experts Tom Marshall, Nayib Moran and Cesar Hernandez for their takeaways from the referees' strike, national teamers to watch and things you can't miss this weekend. It's Liga MX Talking Points!
Takeaways from refs' strike
Liga MX is in flux
The referees' strike didn't just represent an isolated gripe for Liga MX officials; it was an example of what a united and independent union can achieve when it works together. Mexico's footballing authorities had no option but to give in to the demands of the referees' association, even if the actual punishments of Pablo Aguilar and Enrique Triverio did seem harsh for many.
The action by the referees has the potential to start a chain reaction, like a break at the start of a game of pool. It's difficult to predict how it will turn out. There are a number of unhappy parties in Mexican football -- most vocally the players -- and the strike could have an important knock-on effect in the develop of their independent union, led by Rafa Marquez. -- Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup)
Brittle organization at the top
The organization at the top of Mexican football is weak. You simply cannot go from a 10-game ban to a year-long ban in a matter of days. There's a feeling that Mexican football federation president Decio de Maria and Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla did not think the referees' association was going to pull off the strike. From now on, the disciplinary sanctions need to be constant, but with weak organization at the top, that appears unlikely. -- Nayib Moran (@nayibmoran)
New precedent for how players approach refs
After recent sanctions, the league has made it quite clear what kind of punishment will be given to players who aggressively approach referees. Another incident will inevitably happen and it will be fascinating to see if the disciplinary committee responds with the same year-long bans. -- Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol)
Liga MX national teamers to watch
Luis Reyes, DF, Atlas
Reyes has come from nowhere at Atlas and suddenly leap-frogged more established left-backs to make the national team. This is a 25-year-old who has played only 24 Liga MX games. Osorio clearly likes him and with left-back an open spot at present for El Tri, there is no reason why the relatively unknown Reyes can't become a regular if he impresses. He'll be in action for Atlas away at Monterrey on Saturday. -- Marshall
Jesus Duenas, MF, Tigres
Duenas might not be the kind of player that generates as much attention as Orbelin Pineda or Jesus Gallardo, but since Osorio took over Mexico's managerial post, the Tigres midfielder has been a constant in El Tri's call-ups. Duenas has been playing at a top level with his championship-winning club for the past few months and it wouldn't surprise to see him start in one of Mexico's upcoming games. -- Moran
Jesus Gallardo, FW, Pumas
With injuries to several key players in El Tri's attack, Gallardo is now next in line for a starting role with the national team. An impressive performance in the Clasico Capitalino this Sunday will help his chances at earning a key spot as one of Osorio's wingers. -- Hernandez
What you can't miss this weekend
Fascinating interactions between players and refs
The interaction between refs and players, fans and coaches this weekend promises to be fascinating. The one-year bans laid down an absolutely clear message that all parties have to respect the officials. Will players still appeal decisions? Will managers like Miguel Herrera and Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti lose it if things don't go their way? Will fans boo the officials with increased vigor or will there be an element of sympathy? We'll find out. -- Marshall
Cruz Azul's campaign can change dramatically
Cruz Azul is hitting fine form at an important stage of the season. Paco Jemez is smiling, as is Uruguayan striker Martin Cauteruccio. They know that if they're able to get a win over Ferretti's side, their season could dramatically change. From not being able to win matches to turning into one of the leading candidates to play Liguilla football, Jemez will find out just how quickly things can change in the Mexican game. -- Moran
Relegation battle takes center stage
It's all about Sunday afternoon's relegation battle. While Puebla will hope to come one step closer to safety with a win, Morelia will be desperate to avoid another loss that could push the club back to the bottom of the relegation table. -- Hernandez
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