The winter League Draft was held earlier this week at League Headquarters in Toluca, with a total of 38 players being moved. Not as many as maybe expected, but there were some big moves made. The League didn’t reveal any moves but ESPN FC touched on a few in a recap. Highlights:
There seems to be a firesale at America-because Miguel Herrera apparently is not a defense-minded coach (see last year in Tijuana), America sent Pablo Aguilar to Tijuana and Miguel Samudio to Queretaro. Also possibly leaving are Darwin Quintero, Silvio Romero and Cecelio Dominguez, but if they move it likely will be to non-League teams. America got Henry Martin from Tijuana among 2 others for Aguilar.
After missing out on Martin, Guadalajara signed Ronaldo Cisneros away from Santos, stealing a young star making a name for himself in the U-20 division. The Chivas also signed Walter Sandoval from Santos in a trade for Joe Juan Vazquez. They also renewed the loan deal of goalie Rodolfo Cota, who was wanted back by former team Pachuca. There are also rumors head coach Matias Almeyda could leave the team anytime between now & next year to coach elsewhere, likely his native Argentina.
Amidst rumors of dire financial straits, Veracruz was only able to sign one player-Carlos Esquivel, who leaves Toluca for what almost certainly is a demotion ticket after the next tournament. There also has been a rumor new coach Guillermo Vazquez is gone as a result of all this.
The big winner may have been Queretaro, who got Samudio from America and also Puched…I mean, plucked, Edson Puch away from Pachuca. It’s Puch’s 3rd team in just the last year, having first played with Necaxa when they earned promotion back to the league then Pachuca, and his 8th team in 9 years. With the Gallos Blancos fighting to avoid demotion, Puch & Samudio can really help Queretaro pad their 8 point gap over Veracruz there. (Correction: I originally said 11 points in error. This has been corrected to reflect that it actually is 8 points)
All was quiet at the top but Monterrey has more time to make moves because of their playing Pachuca in the upcoming COPA MX Apertura 2017 Finals. There is one rumored face moving on from the Rayados, and it’s a big surprise-Antonio Mohamed. He’s rumored to be on the hot seat despite another regular season title and runner-up finish this past tournament. It could happen now or after the year. As for Tigres, the champs haven’t made any moves so far, as they denied Pumas in a bid to sign back Ismael Sosa. There are reports Lucas Zelarayan wants out, but no takers in the league.