Mexico (National Football)

5 Key Battles for Liga MX Week 2

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2014

5 Key Battles for Liga MX Week 2

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    The 2014 Apertura tournament of the Liga MX will bring exciting games in its second week of activity. Some of the best players in the league will go head-to-head in hopes of helping their clubs grab points.

    Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Miguel Layun and Alan Pulido are just some of the names that will make an impact in Matchday 2.

    The season has just started but it is never too soon to prove that the run for the title is serious business.

    Can Daniel Luduena help UNAM stay undefeated? Can William Yarbrough go back to his old self this week?

    Let's find out.

Juan Pablo Rodriguez (Santos Laguna) vs. Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul)

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    Moises Castillo/Associated Press

    Juan Pablo Rodriguez is one of the most valuable players at Santos Laguna. The central midfielder knows how and when to join the attack.

    He has a powerful long-distance shot but feeds balls to his teammates in style. However, his job won't be easy this week.

    Gerardo Torrado's experience will be his main obstacle. Torrado has been better this season when it comes to ball possession.

    Squawka gives the Cruz Azul footballer a score of 13 points in that department, while Rodriguez is in red numbers, with -6.43 points.

    It will be quite a battle in the midfield. Rodriguez needs to take advantage of his speed—something Torrado lacks.

Alan Pulido (UANL) vs. William Yarbrough (Leon)

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    William Yarbrough had a huge embarrassment last weekend, as he ended up in his own goal with the ball in his hands after choosing to catch a harmless free-kick. His momentum took him over his own goal-line, giving opponents America a 2-0 lead. 

    The Leon goalkeeper hadn't had such a mistake since he debuted with Los Panzas Verdes during the 2013 Clausura.

    Yarbrough needs get back on track, as his club will visit UANL this week, which means the keeper will face promising Mexican Alan Pulido.

    The former U23 footballer has yet to score in the 2014 Apertura, but he has the talent and accuracy to change this situation in the blink of an eye.

    These youngsters will star in one of the best battles of Matchday 2, mainly because Leon and UANL are seeking their first victory of the season.

Osmar Mares (America) vs. Richard Ruiz (Tijuana)

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    Andre Penner/Associated Press

    Tijuana lost last week to Puebla on home soil. It was an historic win for La Franja as they had never grabbed three points at Estadio Caliente.

    Now, Xolos are set to face America at the legendary Estadio Azteca, where they last won in the 2012 Apertura.

    Las Aguilas have three points after Matchday 1, but they suffered quite a loss in the process, as Miguel Layun will miss between one and two weeks due to an injury, as reported by ESPN Deportes (Spanish).

    Osmar Mares will take his place, which will also be his first start with America. Mares had spent most of his career with Santos Laguna, where he became a reliable and fast right-back. 

    However, he will need to be extra careful in his defensive duties, as Richard Ruiz has proven to be lethal when he has enough space to join the attack.

    During the 2014 Clausura, Ruiz scored twice in 18 appearances, as per ESPN.

Bruno Pereira (Chiapas) vs. Lucas Lobos (Toluca)

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    Lucas Lobos debuted with Toluca last week, but he only played 66 minutes. The former UANL midfielder failed to make an impact on the pitch.

    However, he will have another chance against Chiapas, where he will have to overcome Bruno Pereira, a strong defender who can play as a libero or defensive midfielder, if he wants to create goal opportunities for his side.

    Pereira arrived in Mexico for the 2014 Clausura and earned the starting spot until the seventh matchday. Now he is one of the most trusted men of coach Sergio Bueno.

    Lobos needs to be sharp, especially when he passes the ball to the wingers and forwards.

Daniel Luduena (UNAM) vs Jair Pereira (Guadalajara)

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    Daniel Luduena scored his first goal in the Mexican first division against UNAM back in January 2005.

    After playing for Estudiantes, Santos Laguna and Pachuca, Hachita currently wears a Pumas jersey. With UNAM he has scored four times in 19 appearances, including last week's match vs. Queretaro, as reported by ESPN FC.

    Luduena's powerful right-foot shot and his ability to leave the defenders behind will put Guadalajara's Jair Pereira in distress.

    The Chivas centre-back has a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to keeping the ball. He will have to be very focused to have a shot at stopping Hachita.

     

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