This past Saturday, June 17 it was made official that the Argentine striker Cristian Menendez was going from Atletico Tucuman to Veracruz. The signing was characteristic of previous Veracruz signings but it also made it clear that Los Tiburones may be looking to compete in this upcoming season.
Veracruz had an outstanding Clausura 2017 tournament, evading relegation and just missing out on the playoffs, finishing in 13th with 21 points. The most impressive thing about this tournament was that Juan Antonio Luna was successful with Veracruz even without a natural striker. Angel Reyna served as a false nine forward during the latter half of the campaign after Eduardo Herrera and Javier Orozco did not produce for Luna. Melendez is a conventional target man who can offer what Julio Furch brought to the club when he was with Los Escualos.
“El Polaco” offers a solid physical presence at 6-foot-1 and has a powerful strike with spectacular aerial abilities as well. Menendez had a solid campaign in Argentina with Atletico Tucuman, scoring six goals in 11 games as a starter in league play and two goals in four games as a starter in the Copa Libertadores. Veracruz made several other moves in the Liga MX draft which looked like moves to try and evade relegation. Now this signing of Menendez has made it clear that Veracruz may also be looking to make a playoff push in this upcoming season.
Juan Antonio Luna does have some solid players to accompany Menendez like Adrian Luna and Fredy Hinestroza but does need to make a couple more international signings to solidify the squad. Los Tiburones have been successful in the past, most recently when Julio Furch and Gabriel Penalba were on the squad. The signing of Cristian Menendez could be a step in the right direction to keep Veracruz in the Liga MX and even make a playoff push.