America will hope to make up for their Liga MX Apertura disappointment when the Clausura tournament kicks off this week.
An incredible start to the Apertura campaign, including a run of 10 wins from 12 games, was enough for Miguel Herrera’s side to top the table and saw the 45-year-old step up to the Mexican national job, while also continuing to lead America.
That distraction, with Mexico’s qualification for Brazil 2014 going to a play-off, may have proved costly as they stumbled into the Liguilla final, ultimately losing to Leon.
Antonio Mohamed is Hererra’s replacement, and will be hopeful another strong campaign will be kicked off against Liguilla quarter-final opponents, Tigres UANL.
Leon finished third in the Apertura on their way to the title and begin the Clausura on the road to Atlante.
America’s Super Clasico rivals, Guadalajara, on the other hand, had a disastrous Apertura, finishing 16th of the 18 teams and winning just two of their 17 fixtures.
Jose Luis Real, who led them to the 2010 Copa Libertadores final, has returned from MLS sister club Chivas USA in the mid-season break and will hope to begin his second reign with a win as they travel to Santos Laguna, who finished the Apertura second, losing to Leon at the semi-final stage of the Liguilla.
Morelia and Queretaro suffered heavy Liguilla quarter-final defeats and will hope for better at the start of the Clausura when they face each other.
Toluca and Cruz Azul were the final two sides in the Apertura Liguilla, and they begin the Clausura with trips to Pachuca and Monterrey respectively.
Cruz Azul are another side under new management with Luis Fernando Tena having replaced Guillermo Vazquez.
Atlas and Tijuana will also enter the Clausura with new coaches and begin their campaigns at the former’s Estadio Jalisco. Tomas Boy will begin his third spell in charge of the hosts, while the away side will be led by former Venezuela coach Cesar Farias.
Elsewhere, the Apertura’s bottom club, Pumas UNAM, host Puebla and Veracruz will travel to Chiapas.
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