We did not have to wait long between the end of the Apertura 2013 season and the start of the Clausura 2014 in Mexico. On Friday, Monarcas Morelia host Queretaro in the game which will kick-off the Liga MX Clausura 2014 season. Of the full slate of games that will be played in Week 1 of the season, the one that stands out the most is the game which will be played on Saturday afternoon at the Estadio Azteca as Club America host Tigres UANL in the most intriguing and eye-catching game of the round.
America comes into the game off of having failed to repeat as champions as they lost to Leon in the Apertura 2013 final. Unlike seasons past when America would be able to count on having some continuity at the coaching position, they begin the Clausura 2014 season with a new coach in the form of Antonio Mohamed. In addition to Mohamed coming in, America have made two player acquisitions as they have brought in forward Andres Rios, who had a good scoring record with Deportivo Cuenca in Ecuador, and defender Pablo Aguilar who comes over from Xolos Tijuana.
While America come into the game with a lot of uncertainty given the coaching change and the lack of time Mohamed has had to work with the team, Tigres have had no such issues despite some initial talk of a coaching change. As always, Tigres have one of the most talented if not the most talented squad on paper in all the league, and this Clausura season is no different as the team has added midfielder/winger Hernan Dario Burbano and defender Ivan Estrada.
While on the surface everything appears to be stable with Tigres, the one big question which many have going into the Clausura season is whether or not Tigres under Tuca will finally play a more attacking style given the quality of attacking players on the squad. This has been a big criticism of Tuca as of late, especially when the team underachieved last season and began to show and play its best ironically enough in its Apetura 2013 playoff elimination at the hands of America. If Tuca is willing to stray away from his structured, at times cautious gameplan, Tigres might just be in for a great season.
While there are some uncertainties about what to expect given everything already mentioned, this game is still the marquee game of the opening week given that at least from a distance the talent on both squads allows us to imagine a competitive, well-played game. Throw in the fact that matchup battle amongst the coaches on a tactical level is intriguing, and it only adds to the intrigue of what could be a well-played game between two of the best squads in the Liga MX. This is a very appropriate match to have on the opening week of the season.