Camilo Sanvezzo Tears ACL in Friendly

Logo Queretaro2Querétaro’s Camilo Sanvezzo suffered a serious knee injury in the Gallos Blancos’ first preseason friendly that looks to sideline him for the entire Clausura 2015 season.

Sanvezzo left the field against Irapuato after 27 minutes with the injury, which was later revealed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. He will undergo surgery on Monday morning.

No timetable has been set for his return yet, with Arturo Villanueva explaining, “We are still waiting to see if it is a total rupture or only partial, but either way it’s serious.”

Sanvezzo was Querétaro’s leading goalscorer in the Apertura 2014 season, netting 12 goals in 17 games, which tied him for the league’s Golden Boot with León’s Mauro Boselli. With the Brazilian likely to be out for at least six months, the Gallos will now have to scramble for a replacement before the Clausura kicks off in less than three weeks.

Cruz Azul vs Auckland City – Club World Cup

club world cup logoCruz Azul was unable to match Mexico’s best result in a Club World Cup, falling to Auckland City on penalties after a 1-1 draw. With that result, Auckland City makes history, earning their best-ever result in their sixth appearance in the tournament. No Oceania representative had ever finished higher than fifth before now.

As for Cruz Azul, they end their first participation in the Club World Cup with a fourth-place finish, tying the results of América (2006), Pachuca (2008) and Atlante (2009).

Auckland was the revelation of the tournament, with the New Zealanders upsetting Moghreb Tétouan in the play-in round and ES Sétif in the quarterfinals, before taking CONMEBOL champion San Lorenzo to overtime in the semifinals.

Their Cinderlla story continued in the third-place match, where they took the lead against the favored Cruz Azul. Ryan de Vries gave Auckland the lead just before halftime when he escaped down the right to chase down a hopeful-looking long ball. De Vries beat “Cata” Domínguez to the ball, entered the box, and shot past Jesús Corona from close range to make it 1-0 for the Kiwis.

Cruz Azul looked for an immediate response in the second half, and Mauro Formica had the ball in the back of the net in the 53rd minute, but his header was disallowed for offside. La Máquina continued to press, though, and they got their reward moments later: in the 56th minute, Joao Rojas tied the game at 1-1. His initial header hit a defender, but the ball rebounded to his feet and he put the chance away.

Neither team was able to find a second, despite the best efforts of both sides. Cruz Azul’s chances included a scissor kick from Marco Fabián in the 61st and a header from Formica in the 83rd, while Jesús Corona was forced into a great save in the 73rd to prevent Auckland from retaking the lead.

When referee Pedro Proenca brought the game to a close still tied at 1-1, the game went to penalty kicks to determine the winner (there was no overtime period).

In the penalty shootout, Tim Payne, Darren White, James Pritchett and Sanni Issa scored for Auckland with John Irving hitting the crossbar, while Christian Giménez and Francisco Rodríguez scored for Cruz Azul while Mauro Formica skied his attempt and Ismael Valadéz had his saved. The final tally was 4-2 in favor of Auckland, who captured third place.

Highlights

Lineups

Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Gerardo Flores, Julio César Domínguez, Francisco Rodríguez, Xavier Baez (Christian Giménez 46′), Joao Rojas, Marco Fabián (Mariano Pavone 85′), Gerardo Torrado, Alejandro Vela, Mauro Formica, Ismael Valadéz. 

Auckland: Jacob Spoonley, Takuya Iwata, John Irving, Ivan Vicelich (Cameron Lindsay 80′), Tim Payne, Darren White, Sam Burfoot (Sanni Issa 57′), Mario Bilem, Emiliano Tade (James Pritchett 90′), Fabrizio Tavano, Ryan de Vries. 

Paganoni, Peñalba Join Veracruz

Logo VeracruzThe Tiburones Rojos continue to stock up on players ahead of the Clausura 2015 in their bid to avoid relegation, with Jesús Arturo Paganoni and Gabriel Peñalba becoming the newest reinforcements.

Paganoni, 26, is a Mexican midfielder who started his senior career with Atlas before eventually ending up in the second division Liga de Ascenso with Irapuato. He now returns to first division soccer with Veracruz, and he will try to keep not only himself but also his team in Liga MX.

Peñalba, 30, is an Argentinian midfielder who joins Veracruz from Club Atlético Tigre in his native Argentina. He has spend the majority of his career in Argentina with brief stints in Italy and France. Veracruz will be his seventh club and his first in Mexico.

Oswaldo Sánchez Retires

After a 21 year career, Oswaldo Sánchez is hanging up his gloves. Sánchez learned he was not in Santos Laguna’s plans for the Clausura earlier this month, and the veteran netminder has decided to retire, although he had offers to continue his career in Liga MX.

“San Oswaldo”, 41, retires as one of the most important goalkeepers in Mexican soccer. His career began on October 30, 1993 when he made his debut with Atlas, and lasted until November 22, 2014, when he played his final game for Santos Laguna, where he has been the captain for the past seven years. He also had stints at América and Chivas de Guadalajara.

Sánchez retires with 725 games played in Liga MX, a record, as well as a record 25 penalty saves and 63,792 minutes played. He won three league titles (Apertura 2006 with Chivas, Clausura 2008 and 2012 with Santos) as well as a Copa MX title (Apertura 2014 with Santos).

For the national team, he made 100 appearances for Mexico, which included participating in three World Cups (France 1998, South Korea-Japan 2002, Germany 2006) and winning two Gold Cup titles (1996, 2003).

Sánchez officially announced his retirement in an emotional press conference today.

Pachuca Signs Heriberto Aguayo

After the announced departures of Daniel Arreola, Abraham Darío Carreño, Dieter Villalpando, Matías Alustiza, and Avilés Hurtado, Pachuca has announced their first new addition: Heriberto Aguayo.

Aguayo, 23, is a central defender who has been playing in Mexico’s second division, the Liga de Ascenso, since his professional debut in 2010. He won the Clausura 2014 Ascenso title with Estudiantes Tecos before moving to Mineros de Zacatecas for the Apertura 2014. He will now look to break into the first division with the Tuzos.

Querétaro Signs Emanuel Villa, Gil Burón

Logo Queretaro2The Gallos Blancos have added Emanuel Villa and Gil Burón to their ranks ahead of the Clausura 2015 season.

Villa, 32, joins Querétaro from Tigres UANL, where he made 17 appearances (9 starts) for the club in the Apertura, scoring two goals. The striker was part of the Tigres team that finished runner-up to América in the Apertura Gran Final.

Gil Burón, 20, joins the Gallos from América, where the youngster made one league appearance in the Apertura. He spent most of his time with América’s Fuerzas Básicas and will look to break into Liga MX with Querétaro.

Valenzuela and Ochoa Join Atlas

Logo AtlasIn addition to the three players officially presented on Wednesday, Atlas has also added Juan Carlos Valenzuela and Carlos Ochoa to their squad.

Juan Carlos “Topo” Valenzuela, 30, joins Atlas from América, where he was an integral part of the title-winning team. The defender made 13 regular season appearances for América in the Apertura.

Carlos Ochoa, 36, joins Atlas from Veracruz, where the striker scored one goal in eight starts.

Brizuela, Ponce, and “Cubo” Torres to Chivas

Logo ChivasIsaác Brizuela has completed his move from Toluca to Chivas de Guadalajara ahead of the Clausura 2015 season, while Miguel Ángel Ponce and Erick “Cubo” Torres will return to Chivas, from Toluca and Major League Soccer, respectively.

It’s worth noting that Cubo Torres is returning for only a six-month spell, according to Guadalajara, since MLS exercised their option to buy after his loan spell with the now-defunct Chivas USA.

Ponce is returning from a loan spell of his own, where the left back quickly established himself as a starter with the Diablos Rojos. They did not exercise their purchase option, however, so he is back with his parent club.

These moves look likely to be Chivas’s last ones of the offseason, since all domestic moves were finalized in yesterday’s Draft, and although players can still be brought in from other leagues, Chivas prides itself on fielding only Mexican citizens.

Puebla Makes Seven Moves in Draft

Logo PueblaThe December 2014 edition of the Liga MX draft has concluded, and Puebla was one of the last teams to announce its moves, which were numerous.

La Franja, who are in the midst of a relegation battle, have signed Luis Gabriel Rey, Hérculez Goméz, Facundo Erpen, Luis Robles, and Israel Villaseñor. In addition Matías Alustiza is returning from Pachuca and Sergio Pérez is returning from Jaguares de Chiapas.

Setting aside goalkeeper Villaseñor, most of Puebla’s new additions are strikers and attacking midfielders, which makes sense for a team that averaged less than a goal per game in the Apertura 2014 season.

FIFA Club World Cup: Final and Third-Place Match

club world cup logoThe 2014 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco concludes this weekend with the final and the third-place match.

UEFA champion Real Madrid advanced to the final after a 4-0 win against CONCACAF champion Cruz Azul. They will face CONMEBOL champion San Lorenzo, who reached the final after a 2-1 win against Oceania champion Auckland City FC in overtime after a 1-1 draw in regulation.

The two losing semifinalists, Cruz Azul and Auckland, will face off in the third-place match.

Third Place
Saturday, December 20
Auckland City FC (New Zealand) vs Cruz Azul (Mexico) – 11:30 AM – Fox Sports 2 / Fox Deportes

Final
Saturday, December 20
San Lorenzo (Argentina) vs Real Madrid (Spain) – 2:30 PM – Fox Sports 2 / Fox Deportes