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Liga MX W2W4: Mexican youngsters out to make mark

Liga MX Bancomer
Read

Herrera's return to Monterrey will be a warm one

Liga MX
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W2W4: Liga MX's best on display as Cruz Azul host Tigres

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What would a Liga MX All-Star team look like?

Liga MX Bancomer
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Pumas impress, Chivas struggle as Cruz Azul march on

Liga MX
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 By Nayib Moran

Club America take No. 1 spot, Tigres drop to No. 2 in Power Rankings

Club America could still strengthen their squad before the end of the transfer window.

The Clausura is finally underway and a common theme throughout the first days was that several of the goalscorers were notable Mexican youngsters. Players like America's Henry Martin, Toluca's Alexis Vega, Pumas' Jesus Gallardo and Chivas' Javier Eduardo "Lalo" Lopez all scored goals.

Hopefully, this specific event becomes a tendency and not just a brief memory. Here are the Week 1 Power Rankings.

1. CLUB AMERICA (+3)
Martin scored the only goal of the evening and America beat Queretaro 1-0 in its first match of the Clausura. Martin appears to be ready to emerge as the best option to accompany Oribe Peralta up front but that could change if the club manages to get a striker like Luuk de Jong.

2. TIGRES UANL  (-1)
To see Tigres lose to Puebla in Week 15 would have been a shocker but to see them lose to Puebla 2-1 in the opening week is not that surprising. The result should be seen as a product of Puebla's excellent preseason as well as Tigres' tendency to start off the seasons slow and catch fire at the start of the playoffs.

3. MONTERREY (-1)
Heading into Week 1, manager Antonio "Turco" Mohamed couldn't call upon new signing Jonathan Urretaviscaya, who sustained a muscular injury in the days prior to the match against Morelia. During the warm-up before kickoff, Aviles Hurtado also suffered a muscular injury. With these two out, Monterrey almost beat Morelia 1-0 but in the last minutes of the match Morelia got a penalty call in its favor to grab a 1-1 draw.

4. CRUZ AZUL (-1)
Estadio Azul wasn't completely full for Pedro Caixinha's Cruz Azul debut. Although newcomer Carlos Fierro insisted on making an impact for La Maquina, most of his attempts were futile. One of the new players who quietly made a good impression was Jose Maduena. The right-back showed bright sparks and his style is similar of a young Paul Aguilar, who currently fills the position at Club America.

5. MORELIA (+1)
The fact that Morelia has a solid base heading into this new season makes fans think that it has everything in the works to reach a third consecutive Liguilla. The key moving forward will be for Peru international Raul Ruidiaz to start putting up impressive scoring numbers.

6. LEON (+2)
Mauro Boselli and Andres Andrade scored goals to give Leon a 2-1 victory against Atlas. Los Esmeraldas hadn't started a season with a win since the 2016 Clausura.

7. CLUB TIJUANA (no change)
For Xolos, a scoreless draw against Cruz Azul in Mexico City could be seen as a good result. The team's standout was center-back Pablo Aguilar, who became club captain immediately after arrival from Club America.

8. SANTOS LAGUNA (+4)
Osvaldo Martinez started off the new season with three assists and Djaniny Tavares scored three goals. If both can keep this rhythm flowing, Santos will become an immediate protagonist in the Clausura.

Santos Laguna's strong start to the season bodes well for their playoff chances.

 9. CHIVAS (no change)
With only two shots on goal, Chivas scored once and got a 1-1 draw against Toluca. Lopez, who in the past was nicknamed "Chofis" but now likes to be called "Lalo," scored Chivas' only goal. Next up will be a tough game at Estadio Chivas against Cruz Azul.

10. PACHUCA (-5)
After 40 minutes, Pachuca led 2-0 in its home game against Pumas but close to half-time, Omar Gonzalez played a bad pass that allowed Pumas to get on the scoreboard right before the half. Gonzalez's error was the start of Pachuca's implosion as Pumas took a 3-2 come-from-behind win back to Mexico City. Pachuca had similar erratic lapses filled with uncommon errors, as was the case last season.

11. TOLUCA (+3)
Toluca's main positive from its 1-1 draw against Chivas was that Vega scored. Heading forward, Vega's offensive contributions will be crucial to Toluca's aspirations.

12. PUEBLA  (+4)
Francisco Acuna, a Tigres academy product, led Los Camoteros to an unprecedented 2-1 win over Liga MX's defending champions. This win could mark a before and after for a club that aspires to stay away from the relegation zone but also rekindle its connection with its fan base, something it hasn't been able to do in recent years. Wins will do the trick, though.

13. PUMAS UNAM (+5)
Saturday night's win sent a rush of happiness through many Pumas followers but the win should be taken lightly. There's no doubt that with a healthy Nicolas Castillo, Pumas have one of the league's best strikers, but it's vital they don't become solely reliant upon his scoring abilities.

14. LOBOS BUAP (-4)
A new season, same problems for Lobos. Their 4-2 loss to Santos highlighted that they still must improve at the defensive end. Last season, Lobos conceded 31 goals.

15. ATLAS (-4)
It will take time for midfield maestro, Clifford Aboagye, to return to his best version. On Friday night, he was dispossessed five times and didn't complete a single key pass. In order for Atlas to excel this season, Aboagye will need to be more influential in the final third.

16. NECAXA (-3)
Similar to Juan Manuel Iturbe's case at Xolos, Matias Fernandez hasn't been able to live up to the hype at Necaxa. In the 0-0 tie against Veracruz, Fernandez was left on the bench, indicating that manager Ignacio Ambriz doesn't yet see him as a crucial component to his XI.

17. QUERETARO  (-2)
Queretaro already lost its first home game of the season, and what it cannot afford is to lose a lot of points at Estadio Corregidora because if that's the case, the relegation race will become a heated race between itself and Veracruz.

18. VERACRUZ (-1)
Veracruz is on the brink of bringing in Erick "Cubo" Torres to add depth to its squad. Torres will compete for a starting place with Martin Bravo and Cristian Menendez; can he make an impact for a club so troubled as Veracruz? It remains to be seen.

Nayib Moran covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @nayibmoran.

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