Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Los Angeles Soccer [Print without images]

Monday, January 17, 2011
MEXICO: Atlas, Monterrey reverse roles

By Scott French

It's taken just two weeks to turn things upside down in Mexico's Primera Division.


Atop the Clausura standings following wins lopsided (5-0 over Morelia) and tight (2-1 over Gallos Blancos) is Atlas, which won only three games en route to an 18th-place finish (among 18 clubs) in the fall Apertura.

At the bottom, in 18th: Apertura champion Monterrey.

Atlas is 2-0-0 after Alfredo Moreno, at the top of the box, redirected Edgar Pacheco's 82nd-minute blast Saturday to beat Gallos Blancos, 2-1.

"I think keeping our feet on the ground is something that has to work every day ...," Galindo told Mexican sports daily Esto. "These two games have been satisfying, but we must continue. There are many details to improve, and we can't rest."

Also 2-0-0 is San Luis, which routed Puebla, 3-0, behind two Wilmer Aguirre goals. Atlas plays at Necaxa on Friday, and San Luis is home Saturday against Guadalajara.

Monterrey, outclassed by San Luis in its opener (and missing manager Victor Manuel Vucetich, suspended three games after his ejection in that opener), was overrun by Estudiantes Tecos. Mauro Cejas scored twice and Ramon Morales set up two in Tecos' 3-2 victory. Sergio Santana scored both Monterrey goals, his first since Aug. 14.

"The team is not bad," Vucetich told Spanish news agency EFE. "Results, in theory, do the talking, but you have to watch the action. We are calm. We know the material we have."

ETC.: Goal of the week? How about Nicolas Olivera's rip to the upper-right three minutes into stoppage to give America a 2-2 draw at Jaguares. ... Biggest fine? Nearly $50,000 to America president Michel Bauer for criticizing officials who took away Aguilas goals on poor offsides calls in a 2-0 loss to Pachuca in week one. ... Most surprising scoreline: Atlante 3, Cruz Azul 0. The Potros used a 56th-minute own goal, Christian Bermudez's 72nd-minute strike and a penalty by former Chivas USA forward Giancarlo Maldonado to stun the Cementeros, who had won so convincingly (4-1 over Estudiantes Tecos) in the tournament opener. … Toluca's winless streak hit six with a scoreless tie at Pachuca. The Rojos Diablos have won just one of their past 10 league games, a 2-1 win over Puebla on Oct. 24, the first game after Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre's appointment as Mexico national team coach. … Rafael Marquez Lugo's 71st-minute goal lifted Morelia to a 1-1 draw with visiting Guadalajara. … Juan Carlos Cacho's second Clausura goal started Pumas UNAM on a 2-0 victory over Santos Laguna.

AMERICANS ABROAD: Former Chivas USA captain Jonathan Bornstein (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS and UCLA) made his Primera Division debut , playing the first half as UANL Tigres edged Necaxa, 1-0, on Raul Mancilla's second-half penalty kick. … Sacramento's Miguel Angel Ponce (Guadalajara) and Edgar Castillo (Puebla) also received starts, with Castillo exiting midway through the second half. … Pachuca called L.A. native Herculez Gomez and Jose Francisco Torres off the bench for the final minutes of the 0-0 draw with Toluca.

LIGA DE ASCENSO: Roberto Saucedo's hat trick fueled Correcaminos' 4-1 rout over Lobos BUAP. The Roadrunners are the only 2-0-0 team in the second tier. … Ariel Gonzalez netted his third goal of the Clausura, but second-place Irapuato conceded a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Merida. … Indios de Ciudad Juarez opened its campaign with a 2-1 win over Altamira. Danilo scored the winner in the 53rd minute, right after Ricardo Rocha pulled Altamira even. … Leon is third after Blas Perez secured a 2-0 win at La Piedad.

Friday
Estudiantes Tecos 3 (Cejas 25, pen. 47+, G. Cabral 29), Monterrey 2 (Santana 22, 59)
Saturday
Jaguares 2 (C. Valdez 29, Razo 64), America 2 (Vuoso pen. 57, N. Olivera 93+)
UANL Tigres 1 (Mancilla pen. 66), Necaxa 0
Pachuca 0, Toluca 0
San Luis 3 (O. Arce 20, W. Aguirre 60, pen. 68), Puebla 0
Atlas 2 (E. Pacheco 38, A. Moreno 82), Gallos Blancos 1 (C. Bueno 49)
Atlante 3 (og W. Ponce 56, C. Bermudez 72, Maldonado pen. 76), Cruz Azul 0
Sunday
Pumas UNAM 2 (Cacho 62, D. Lopez 82), Santos Laguna 0
Morelia 1 (Marquez Lugo 71), Guadalajara 1 (de la Mora 21)

Standings
Group 1:
1. Tigres 4 points; 2. Santos 3; 3. Estudiantes Tecos 3; 4. Guadalajara 2; 5. Necaxa 0; 6. Monterrey 0.
Group 2: 1. Atlas 6; 2. San Luis 6; 3. Pachuca 4; 4. Atlante 3; 5. Toluca 2; 6. America 1.
Group 3: 1. Pumas 4; 2. Jaguares de Chiapas 4; 3. Cruz Azul 3; 4. Gallos Blancos de Queretaro1; 5. Puebla 1; 6. Morelia 1.
Overall (top 8): 1. Atlas 6 points (+6 goal difference); 2. San Luis 6 (+5); 3. Pumas 4 (+2); 4. Pachuca 4 (+2); 5. Jaguares and Tigres 4 (+1); 7. Atlante 3 (+2); 8. Cruz Azul 3 (-). Note: If season ended now, Santos would go to the playoffs in place of Cruz Azul.
Relegation percentages: 1. Necaxa (19 games/16 points) 0.8421; 2. Gallos Blancos (53/59) 1.1132; 3. Atlante (87/102) 1.1724; 4. Atlas (87/104) 1.1954; 5. Puebla and Jaguares (87/106) 1.2184.

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Friday
Atlas at Necaxa, 6:10 p.m.
Saturday
Atlante at Monterrey, 3 p.m.
Morelia at Gallos Blancos, 3 p.m.
Pumas UNAM at Cruz Azul, 3 p.m.
San Luis at Guadalajara, 5 p.m.
Pachuca at Santos, 5 p.m.
Sunday
Estudiantes Tecos at Puebla, 10 a.m.
Jaguares at Toluca, 10 a.m.
UANL Tigres at America, 2 p.m.
Subject to change

Other games
Tuesday
Friendly:
Cruz Azul at Universidad de Chile

Friday
Correcaminos 4 (Lucas Silva 11, R. Saucedo 40, 49. 55), Lobos BUAP 1 (J. Ramirez 75)
Saturday
Pumas Morelos 4 (F. Martinez 17, E. Herrera 24, 84, C. Hernandez 87), Alacranes 2 (og C. Sanchez 31, Arvizu 38)
Irapuato 2 (A. Gonzalez 8, J. Lopez 24), Merida FC 2 (P. Torres 36, S. Gonzalez 41)
Veracruz 0, Leones Negros 0
Indios 2 (J. Echavarria 40, Danilo 53), Altamira 1 (R. Rocha 52)
Sunday
Atlante Neza 1 (J. Robles 39), Dorados 1 (T. Quiñones 63)
Cruz Azul Hidalgo 0, Albinegros 0
La Piedad 0, Leon 2 (L. Nieves 15, B. Perez 62)
Idle: Club Tijuana

Standings: 1. UAT Correcaminos 6 points; 2. Irapuato 4; 3. Leon 4; 4. Cruz Azul Hidalgo 4; 5. Pumas Morelos 3; 6. Indios de Ciudad Juarez 3; 7. Altamira 3; 8. Atlante Neza 2; 9. Merida 1; 10. U de G Leones Negros and Veracruz 1; 12. Albingeros de Orizaba 1; 13. Dorados de Sinaloa 1; 14. Club Tijuana 0; 15. Alacranes de Durango 0; 16. Lobos BUAP 0, 17. La Piedad 0.

This week (all times Pacific)
Friday
Club Tijuana at Altamira, 5 p.m.
Veracruz at Correcaminos, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday
Cruz Azul Hidalgo at Lobos BUAP, 10 a.m.
Pumas Morelos at Albinegros, 4 p.m.
Irapuato at Alacranes, 5 p.m.
La Piedad at Dorados, 5 p.m.
Atlante Neza at Merida, 5:05 p.m.
Indios at Leon, 6 p.m.
Idle: Leones Negros