The America vs Santos game on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM EDT at Estadio Azteca has two teams that everyone expected would be doing better by this time in the season. The defending Liga MX champions, Santos, seems to be suffering from a champion’s hangover, and has not played near the great level it displayed last season. Club America is always expected to be one of the top teams in Mexico (though it rarely is), and this is sizing up like another fairly disappointing season, although there is still plenty of time to turn things around.
Club America currently finds itself in eighth place of the Liga MX standings, having done nothing really spectacular. In seven games it has won two, tied four, and lost only one game, scoring twelve goals and allowing seven. Club America’s two wins have come against Queretaro and Jaguares, arguably the two worst teams in the Liga MX. Looking at its results, Club America looks like a decent, lower-seeded playoff team: this is absolutely unacceptable to the Azulcrema faithful.
Club America’s mediocrity is due to its reliance on individual prowess rather than teamwork (there has been no better example of a teamwork vs individuals match than the America vs Xolos match, which America lost at home), something which Herrera has to work on. America has an enviable roster that should be near the top of the standings, all this team needs is to focus on playing as a unit rather than individuals (easier said than done).
Santos started the league off hot with two wins, but it then slowed down and went on a four game win-less streak where it lost two and drew two. In Week 7 Santos showed signs of the team that won the Clausura 2012, soundly defeating an always tough Tigres 3-1 at home. The match at Estadio Azteca will demonstrate whether Santos is back at its old level: a win would mean they are doing pretty well, a tie means their ok, a loss means they have to go back to the drawing board.
Prediction: Club America had a good result in Toluca last match, getting a difficult away tie against the Liga MX league leaders. Most importantly, it started to show signs of functioning like a unit rather than individuals. If Herrera can make his players continue towards this path, it has a good chance of winning the match against Santos. Santos appears to be improving its game and reaching last year’s level, I believe they will go into el Azteca looking for a win. Expect a good match here, although in the end I believe it will end in an entertaining draw. The score will be America 2 – Santos 2.
Television: The America vs Santos Apertura 2012 match will be shown on Univision this Saturday, September 15 at 6:00 PM Eastern.