The date was May 26, 2013. Millions of people could not believe it; many more still cannot. Club America was a man down in the Clausura 2013 final against Cruz Azul while losing 2-0 in the aggregate score with only minutes away left in the grand finale; then the unbelievable happened. In a lapse of 9 minutes the loved/hated ‘aguilas’ scored 2 goals with goalkeeper Moises Muñoz tying the score in the last play of the regular time with a miraculous diving header. The rest is history.
Club America won their 11th title in the last Clausura 2013 under the hand of coach Miguel Herrera. Their whole tournament was filled with success as the team from ‘coapa’ had the best offense, and third best defense in the Liga MX. Although they are the reigning champs, America lost its main star for the upcoming Apertura 2013; arguably the best player the Liga MX had seen in many years, Christian Benitez. The Apertura 2013 has America as the favorite once again, but let’s take a look at the new changes the aguilas have:
Diego Reyes (Porto), Efrain Juarez (Monterrey), Christian Benitez (Al-Arabi: Qatar)
Luis Gabriel Rey (Jaguares de Chiapas), Andres Andrade (Tolima)
How will Club America perform in the Apertura 2013?
Club America will be the most hated (like always) and most feared team next season. Not only are they the reigning champions, but they once again have their morale and confidence up in the sky. Although key figures like Benitez and Diego Reyes were transferred, this is still a team filled with top caliber players which will compete for the Liga MX’s top positions in the standings. Expect America to play aggressively, with a 5-3-2 formation.
Without a doubt. This team will be fighting to be the league’s top team in the regular standings. They will reach the playoffs once again, and they will be a favorite to win the title. Will they become champs twice in a row? Difficult to predict, but as of one week before the Apertura 2013 begins, there are really only two teams which are clear front row favorites to win the league: UANL Tigres, and Club America. These two teams finished 1-and-2 in the standings last season, and they have the best talented squads in the league.
Players to Watch
With the transfer of Christian Benitez to Qatar’s Al Arabi, the team’s forwards will have a huge hole to fill. The pressure will fall on Narciso Mina who was signed last season as a top striker from Ecuador. Due to Raul Jimenez’s good performances, Mina was not able to show what he is capable of. Now, he has the pressure to perform well, and with goals. Otherwise, Luis Gabriel Rey will be waiting patiently on the bench to fulfill that role.
Club America has all the ingredients needed for another successful campaign; they have the right players, a coach inspired by Dragon Ball-Z, and a rejuvenated fan-base. Do you think they have enough to win back-to-back titles?