Midweek fixtures are always a special treat. The wild and wooly Liga Mexicana is always unpredictable, but midweek matchdates are so crazy, it's as if they always play them under a full moon. There was no shortage of bizarre results in the latest round, and while the weirdness was manifesting itself across Mexico, Chivas had some business to take care of in Miami
The first game turned out to be a shocker. Estudiantes Tecos, a club that reinforced itself with a gaggle of thirtysomethings to fend off relegation, came from behind to defeat Club America, 2-1, at the Azteca for their first W of the season. The colossus is only impregnable for some teams, I guess.
Another Guadalajara side that is embroiled in the relegation fight, Atlas, got off the schneid as well, defeating Queretaro (a perpetual drop zone member) 3-0. Atlante, who had looked awful in their first two matches, put a whuppin' on Puebla, who had looked terrific in their first match and a half. Since then, they have given up 7 goals in a little over 100 minutes, including the 5-1 defeat to Atlante last night in Cancun. If Atlante scores a lot of goals, it is usually the work of a Hobbit, and last night was no different. Christian Bermudez scored twice and set up another.
The freakshow continued in Pachuca, where Cruz Azul donned the all-blue look. It was a little jarring, like when the Bears wear the navy pants at home. They may not want to do it again: Jaime Ayovi scored a late winner for Pachuca to get them into the win column.
The night's slate of game culminated in CU where Pumas and Monterrey, each with two wins, looked destined to share the spoils after a spirited, and very entertaining game. However, one of the home-grown products, Eduardo Herrera, headed home the winner in stoppage time. The win gives Pumas the full 9 points, and they sit alone atop the league table.
3 teams had other duties to attend to. Santos and Morelia, as expected, moved into the group stages of the CCL, although Santos needed a PK stop from Oswaldo Sanchez to avoid extra time in Olimpia. And Chivas was slated to play Barcelona in Miami.
The Guadalajara boys defeated Barcelona, 4-1. Yes, it was a pre-season friendly, and no, there is no reason to look at this scoreline and think anything of it other than what it was. One player, though, stood out, and has been continually making a habit of doing so. Marco Fabian de la Mora has been asserting himself as Chivas' main offensive threat, and is a big reason why Guadalajara is off to a fast start. He scored the game winner last Sunday vs. Guadalajara, and scored two chef d'œuvres against the Culés last night. See for yourself.
There is no question the 22 year old is destined for national team duty, but that will have to wait until next year because Fabian was one of the implicated in the Quito hotel scandal. Before the incident, he was the U22's most dangerous offensive player.
He is yet another young Mexican to keep an eye on.
I pegged Chivas as the team to beat this season, and Fabian is a big reason why. I know a lot of Chivas fans that are happy that their youth system is producing so much talent, but are worried that they will become another Atlas: a terrific youth system that sells a ton of players, but wins no trophies. Atlas, though, is afflicted with terrible team management. The results speak for themselves: nothing won since '51.
Chivas fans, worry not. The front office is much more stable, and they have no pressing economic need to sell off their talent. Jorge Vergara's commitment to the youth system will payoff with hardware.
Fabian and co. will be lifting those trophies sooner rather than later.