billsportsmaps.com

April 30, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Mexico (CONCACAF), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Mexico, with 6 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 4:39 pm




Mexico national team. CONCACAF (North America & Caribbean). Nickname: El Tricolor. Home jersey: deep green with red and white trim.
-Mexico is in Group A (with Brazil, Cameroon, and Croatia), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group A‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Mexico’s 15th qualification out of a 20 possible qualification attempts.
Mexico has qualified for the World Cup in: 1930, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 (1934: did not qualify; 1938: withdrew during qualifying stage; 1974: did not qualify; 1982: did not qualify; 1990: banned).
Previous WC: 2010, Round of 16 / 1-1-2.
Highest WC finish: 1970 & 1986, Quarterfinals.

Population of Mexico: 118.3 million {2013 estimate}. Capital and largest city: Mexico City, metro area pop. 21.2 million {2012 figure}.
The map below shows the 9 largest metro areas in Mexico (by population size: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, León, Juárez, Torreón), ‘List of metropolitan areas in Mexico by population‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Mexico Coach, Miguel Herrera. Miguel Herrera.
Mexico squad captain, Rafael Márquez (DF, Club León). Rafael Márquez.

From 18 Feb. 2014, ‘Call for Mexican National Team Players Involved in Europe‘ (femexfut.org.mx).

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Mexico (with 6 other player-options listed further below) -
mexico_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_u.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Mexico on globe, map by Addicted04 at ‘File:MEX orthographic.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Mexico map by Sémhur at ‘File:Mexico States blank map.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
Mexico 2014 home jersey, photo from articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx.
Coach,
Miguel Herrera, photo from enelareachica.com.
Goalkeeper,
Moisés Muñoz (Club América), photo from reporteindigo.com/deportes.
Defenders,
Rafael Márquez (Club León), photo by Mexsport via deportes.terra.com.mx/futbol/liga-mx.
Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Club América), photo from m.mediotiempo.com.
Francisco Javier Rodríguez (Club América), photo by sports.terra.com/soccer/mexiGerardo Flores/Gco/america-rallies-to-stun-cruz-azul-in-pks-win-title-photos [Gallery].
Paul Aguilar (Club América), photo by Francisco Estrada/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty Images via espnfc.com/blog.
Midfielders,
Miguel Layún (Club América), photo by Gerardo Flores/Getty Images via espnfc.com/blog.
Carlos Alberto Peña (Club León), photo from forumscp.com/index.php?topic=570800.
Juan Carlos Medina (Club América), photo by Mexsport via espndeportes.espn.go.com/news
Attacking MFs/Forwards,
Javier Hernández (Manchester United), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Luis Montes (Club León), photo from mmdeportes.telediario.mx.
Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), photo from rankings.com.mx/deportes.
Other player-options,
Guillermo Ochoa GK (Ajaccio), photo by Getty Images via goal.com/es-mx.
Giovani dos Santos FW/W (Villarreal CF), photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images via sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news.
Raúl Jiménez FW/LW (Club América), photo by
Andrés Guardado LB/LMF/LW (Valencia/on loan to Bayer Leverkusen), photo by Herbert Bucco via express.de/bayer-04-leverkusen.
Isaác Brizuela AMF/RMF (Toluca), photo by Imago 7 via sports.terra.com/soccer/mexico.
Aldo de Nigris FW (Chivas de Guadalajara), photo by Imago 7 via deportes.terra.com.mx/futbol/liga-mx.

___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Mexico national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for recent squad line-ups (with positions-on-the-field graphics), at http://us.soccerway.com/international/nc-america/wc-qualifying-concacaf/2014-brazil/4th-round/r15679/;
& at http://us.soccerway.com/international/world/wc-qualifying-intercontinental-play-offs/2014-brazil/s6223/final-stages/?ICID=SN_04_85
.

January 9, 2013

Mexico: Liga MX (the Mexican 1st division in fútbol), location-map for 2012-13 season with attendance estimates from May 2012 (crowd-size estimates compiled by journalists attending games in 2011-12 season, for sports newspaper Cancha.com) / Plus all-time Mexican pro fútbol titles list / Plus the last three title-winners: Tigres de la UANL, Santos Laguna, and Club Tijuana (aka Xolos).

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 10:57 pm

http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/mexico_liga-mx_2013_location-map_w-attendances-from-may-2012_post_.gif
2012-13 Liga MX location-map with estimated attendance figures from May 2012, plus Mexican pro fútbol titles list



From goal.com, from December 30, 2012, ‘Tom Marshall: A 2013 Liga MX wishlist
Eight suggestions to take Liga MX to an even higher level
‘.

The Mexican first division, which has been called Liga MX since July 2012, began it’s 2013 Clausura tournamnet on the weekend of January 4th through 6th 2013. Reigning champions are the 6-year-old club from Baja California, Club Tijuana. Here is an article about the first weekend of play, ‘Tijuana opens Clausura with a win‘ (AP via msn.foxsports.com).

Liga MX – Fixtures, Results, Table‘ (soccerway.com).

Note: because there are parts of Mexico (primarily in the north of the country) which have organized (amateur) leagues of American-style gridiron football, to avoid any confusion, the sport I am covering here [which is association football, aka football, aka soccer] will be referred to as fútbol.

    Professional fútbol began in Mexico in 1943-44

Professional fútbol began in Mexico in 1943-44. There were 9 founding members of the league, which was, until 1950, called Liga Mayor (the Major League) [Then it was called Primera Divisiión up to 2010-11.]. Four of the founding pro clubs from the first season in 1943-44 are currently [2012-13] in the Mexican first division –
Atlante FC, known as los Potros Hierros (the Iron Colts), who were originally from Mexico City, and have been located in far eastern Mexico in Cancún (on the Gulf of Mexico) since 2007;
CD Guadalajara (aka Chivas [the Goats]), who are from Mexico’s second-city Guadalajara;
Club Atlas, who are known as los Zorros (the Foxes), and who also are from Guadalajara; and
Club América, known as las Águilas (the Eagles), or, alterenately as los Millonetas (the Millionaires) – América are from Mexico City, Federal District.

Of those 4 charter members, 2 stand out for their on-field success and for their vast, nation-wide support, and those two of course are Chivas and Club América. Chivas and Club América are the only two clubs in Mexico who have played every one of the 72 seasons (and all 88 tournaments) of top flight Mexican football (and have never been relegated). {see the page at es.wikipedia.org, ‘Liga MX/Equipos_participantes Temporada_2012-2013‘ (sp.wikipedia.org)}.

Those two clubs are also among the 3 most successful, with Chivas Guadalajara boasting the most Mexican pro titles, with 11 (but none since 2006); and Club América tied for second-best (along with Deportivo Toluca) with 10 Mexican pro titles (but none since 2005). Toluca, known as Diablos Rojas (the Red Devils), are from the city of Toluca, which is about 63 km. (39 miles) west of Mexico City. Greater Toluca is the 5th-largest metro-area in Mexico {with a metro population of around 1.6 million/2005 figure}. Toluca won their 10th title in May 2010.

    All-time Mexican Professional Fútbol titles list (1943-44 to 2012-Apertura)

Note, click on image below to get the titles list on a separate page…
mexico_liga-mx_titles-list_up-to-2012-apertura_m.gif

If you want to see the full Mexican titles list (with each title listed by date), here is the all-time list of Mexican ‘titles by club‘ (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liga_MX#Titles_By_Club).

    The Map Page, and the elements there…

Location-map
On the map page, there is a location-map of 2012-13 Liga MX. Here are the 2 sites (FootieMap.com and Soccer Mexicana.com) whose maps of 2012-13 Liga MX were very helpful in making my map here –
http://www.footiemap.com/?co=mexico.
http://www.soccerimport.com/soccermexicana.com/files/2012%20Apertura%20Team%20Locations.jpg.

Population-density map of Mexico [which was not drawn by billsportsmaps]
Also on the map page is a population-density map of Mexico (from circa 2006), which is from this page at Wikipedia, ”Metropolitan areas of Mexico‘(en.wikipedia.org [uploaded by Rune.welsh].

The attendance figures at the far right on the map page…
Attendance figures for Mexican fútbol, as a rule, simply do not exist. Why? Corruption, probably. But last season, the Mexican sports news website cancha.com took the initiative and had reporters make estimates of the crowd sizes at all the Mexican Primera División matches. So, via soccer365.com, and originally via the Mexican sports website Cancha.com (sorry, I could not find the original post at cancha.com), here is an article by Tom Marshall about that…’Club America tops attendance league‘ (soccer365.com).
Note, click on image below to get the attendance data on a separate page…
mexico_1st-division-attendances_2011-12_via-cancha-dot-com_i.gif
Data in the above graphic is from: http://soccer365.com/news/world_news/the_view_from_mexico/17000/club_america_tops_attendance_league.

Mexican league format and format changes
The Mexican top flight is an 18-team league. Since 1996-97, the Mexican first division has had a split season format, within a main 10-month-long season (like in Argentina and other places in South America). So that means there are 2 champions each season. The Apertura (ie, ‘The Opening’) comes first (from August to early December); then the Clausura (ie, ‘The Closing’) is played (from January to May). Teams play 17 games in each half-season, then the top 8 will play from 2 to 6 more matches as they compete in the Liguilla (aka the playoffs) to determine the champion of either the Apertura or the Clausura.

In 2012, the Mexican first division re-branded and became Liga MX ['mx' is a primary Mexican Internet address-suffix]. That followed a long overdue format change in 2011-12, when the league got rid of their arbitrary 3-sub-division league format, where teams, for the first 17 games of each half-season, were divided into three 6-team groups on no basis, geographic or otherwise (except for probable gaming of the system by big clubs). I would describe it in more detail, but what is the point?…it is now gone and good riddance. But the league format still includes the Liguila, which is basically a playoff system with the top 8 teams qualifying. But those bizarre 6-team sub-groups are gone, so the Mexican first division is now a lot easier to follow. And though the Euro-snob football purists might look askance at the playoff-format, well, those well-attended playoffs have saved many a Mexican fútbol club from bankruptcy and liquidation in the last 40 years or so.

Mexican 2nd Division
The second division in Mexico was established in 1950. For the lions’ share of the seasons in Mexican fútbol since 1950-51, there has been a one team promoted/one team releagted system between divisions 1 and 2. Last year, as part of the modern-day re-branding, the Mexican second division was re-named Ascenso MX (Ascenso means Promotion). Ascenso MX has 15 teams. The Mexican second division also did away with the sub-group format in 2011. The Apertura and Clausura champions in Ascenso MX square off for a two-legged finals to determine who is the sole club promoted to the first division. Last season it was 5-time national champions Club León, who have now returned to the Mexican first division after a decade in the second tier. They supplanted the third-biggest club in the Greater Guadalajara area, Estudiantes Tecos (Owls).

Relegation to the 2nd Division
Relegation in the Mexican top flight is as follows – one club is relegated each season, and that is determined by the lowest 3-season total points ratio (ie, just like Argentina’s cynical system). This basically makes it easy for established clubs to avoid a one-bad-season relegation, and makes it harder for just-promoted clubs to remain in the first division, because newly-promoted clubs usually have to finish closer to the middle of the table to avoid the drop, since their points ratio will be from just 34 games versus other clubs whose ratio will be determined from 68 or 102 games. Currently, it looks like Club Atlas and Querétaro will be in a relegation battle during the 2012-Clausura, see this {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012%E2%80%9313_Liga_MX_season#Relegation}.

The Liguilla
The Liguilla has existed in the Mexican top flight since 1970. Originally, it was just a play-off between the leaders of each of 2 sub-groups, but it has evolved to now comprise the top 8 clubs after each 17-match half-season. The Liguilla part of the league format is similar to the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League in that the teams are seeded (ie, 1st place plays 8th place, etc.) and the teams are placed in a bracket and they play two-legged ties, with the aggregate-score winner advancing (but in Mexico, if the score ends up being tied after both legs are played, the higher seed advances [like in the Italian Serie B promotion playoff]). Unlike the UEFA CL Final but like the Copa Libertadores Finals, the Liga MX Liguilla Finals is a two-match finals.

    The last 3 Mexican champions (the 2011-Apertura, the 2012-Clausura, and the 2012-Apertura)

2011 Apertura champions – Tigres de UANL
The first club to win the title in the simplified/modified new format was Tigres de UANL, the club from the municipality of San Nicholás de los Garza, which is in the north-central part of Greater Monterrey (Monterrey is the third-largest-city in Mexico, it’s metro area population is around 4.0 million {2010 figure/here) UANL stands for Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, which is (obviously) a large university in Monterrey in the State of Nuevo León. [ Note: university-affiliated professional sports teams, which to the American or Canadian might sound like a contradiction, are somewhat widespread in Latin American countries (like in Mexico, Chile, and Peru, to name a few) (I say it might sound like a contradiction to Americans, because college sports athletes in the NCAA in the USA are, shamefully, not allowed to be paid). ]

It was the amber-and-royal-blue clad Tigres’ 3rd Mexican title, and their first championship in 28 and-a-half years. Here’s an article about that from SB Nation, ‘UANL Tigres Vs. Santos Laguna, 2011 Apertura Liguilla Final: Tigres Win 4-1 On Aggregate‘ [from Dec. 11 2011]. Although Tigres do not really have much support outside of Greater Monterrey {see this chart from my last post on Mexican fútbol, here}, they have an impressive local fan base and drew around 41,000 per game last season, which was second only to Club América, and was above 95 percent-capacity. Tigres won the 2011-12 Apertura finals over Santos Laguna by a score of 4-1 aggregate.
Below are photos of Tigres de UANL’s Estadio Universitario.
tigres-de-uanl_estadio-universitario_c.gifl
Photo and Image credits above -
jAr 10 at panoramio via soccerway.com.
lucas hudsoon at flickr.com
Tigre 2012-13 home kit from ‘Tigres de UANL‘ (en.wikipedia.org).


2012 Clausura champions – Santos Laguna
5 months after coming up just short, the green-and-white-hooped-jersey clad Santos Laguna did one better and won the 2012-Clausura over the other big club from Monterrey, Monterrey CF. To get to the finals, Santos Laguna had to beat reigning champs Tigre in the Semifinals [Tigre being the club that had just defeated them in the 2011-Apertura finals]. And Laguna did that by scoring 2 goals in 3 minutes (in the 86th and 89th minutes) in the 2nd leg. Both those semifinals goals were scored by a local native, the Torreón-born FW Oribe Peralta. Then Santos Laguna beat Monterrey in the finals on May 17th & 20th 2012 by the score of 3-2 aggregate, with Oribe Peralta once again scoring the winning goal (see photos and captions below). Santos Laguna are an up-and-coming club with a swank new stadium from a city in north-central Mexico – Torreón – which is part of a larger metro area called Comarca Lagunera (the 9th largest metro-area in Mexico with a metro-area pop. of around 1.2 million) and which has a solid and diversified economy these days (such as in textile-manufacturing, metal-processing, and in truck-tractor-and-automobile manufacturing). That was Santos Laguna’s 4th Mexican title, all of which have been won since 1996. Santos Laguna had never been in the first division before 1988-89. This is a club that had little history to speak of 30 years ago and now have a bright future. Santos Laguna draw around 25,000 per game in their 30,000-capacity jewel of a stadium (see links below).

From lajornadamichoacan.com.mx, from May 12, 2012, ‘Santos, campeón de México‘.
Here is an article with a nice infographic, from November 11, 2009, by Arturo Black Fonseca, from LaAficion.com, ‘TSM: Estadio Corona, El estadio más avanzado de México‘ [translated, 'TSM (Territorio Santos Modelo): Estadio Corona, The most advanced stadium of Mexico']

Below are photos of Santos Laguna’s Estadio Corona, and photos of the players who scored in the 2012-Apertura Finals 2nd Leg.
santos-laguna_estadio-corona_2012-clausura-champions_d.gifl
Photo and Image credits above -
hksinc.com.
RSalas16 at flickr.com.
Notimex via lajournadmihoacan.com.mx.
Getty Images via goal.com.
Ramón Romero via centraldeportiva.com
Santos Laguna 2012-13 home kit from ‘Santos Laguna‘ (en.wikipedia.org).


2012 Apertura champions – los Xolos de Club Tijuana
Then, very recently, in the 2012 Apertura (which finished on December 2nd, 2012) a virtually brand-new club won their first Mexican title in their 2nd season in the top flight – Club Tijuana, who are nicknamed Xolos. Xolos is the common name for the Mexican Hairless Dog {‘Mexican Hairless Dog‘ (en.wikipedia.org)]. The full name of this very ancient breed of dog is Xoloitzcuintli (it was the dog of the Aztecs/ it fell out of favor/ Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo revived interest in them by placing them in many of their paintings). So, how do you pronounce it? If you are an Anglo, don’t even try, just say ‘Sho-lo’. But if you want to try, or if you just want more info on this fascinating breed of dog, see this nice video, ‘Dogs 101 – Xoloitzcuintli‘ (youtube.com [4:43 video uploaded by MultiKennel2010]). OK, back to fútbol…

In late November 2012, led by their Argentine-born ethnic Syrian/Lebanese manager Antonio ‘El Turco’ Mohammed, Club Tijuana advanced to the Finals despite being down 2-0 in the semifinals 1st leg versus Club León and left for dead. But in the 2nd leg, at Xolos’ home ground – the nascent cauldron known as Estadio Caliente – Club Tijuana beat Leon 3-0 to claim the semifinal series with a 3-2 aggregate. Xolos then went on to face top-seeded Toluca, which had eliminated Club America in the other semifinals match-up. It was a tight affair in the frenetic 1st leg in Tijuana, with Xolos taking a 2-1 lead. Here are video highlights of that 1st leg Finals match on Nov. 29 2012 in Tijuana -
video, ‘Xolos de Tijuana vs Toluca 2-1 Final Apertura 2012 [1st leg]...’ (youtube.com [4:36 video uploaded by EL VERGON SANTOS]).
But Toluca didn’t really show up for the 2nd leg despite the home field advantage, with Xolos coming out the gate in force and in their customary attack-minded mode, and never leaving much of a doubt who would prevail. In the end, Tijuana handily beat Toluca by a 4-1 aggregate. So 18 months after their first-division-debut, Club Tijuana were champions of Mexico.

Club Tijuana, who wear red, were formed in January 2007, and made their first division debut in July 2011. Club Tijuana’s stadium, Estadio Caliente, was opened in November 2007, and the current capacity is 21,000, but the plan is for a full second tier to eventually increase capacity to 40,000 (see architect’s rendering below) {see this photo which shows the new tribune [currently used as luxury-box-type seating] above the first phase of the stadium (photo from xolosd.com)}. Club Tijuana drew around 19,500 per game (at about a 92 percent-capacity) in their debut season in the first division in 2011-12. Club Tijuana’s ascension to the top flight helped to fill a prominent gap in first division Mexican fútbol – namely, a paucity of clubs from the Mexican north-west. I asked the folks over at a US-based Xolos fansite called xolosd.com what they estimate are the amount of fans who cross the border near San Diego, California to see Xolos games at Estadio Caliente in Tijuana. Here is David of XoloSD.com’s response to that query…” I would say that easily there are 2500 to 3500 people that come from all over southern Cali to go to the Xolos games…” So, basically, Xolos have a dual-nation catchment area for their home-attendance-fan-base. This will be an important factor in Club Tijuana’s future stadium expansion, because their ability to tap into the large San Diego/ Southern California market gives the club huge potential.

Oh, and Xolos are in the 2013 Copa Libertadores. From non-existence to 19,500 fans per game, the Mexican championship, and the Copa Libertadores Group Stage – in 6 years flat! Congratulations to the entire organization of Club Tijuana, and to their new but fervent fan base, and best wishes in the 2013 Copa Libertadores.

Below is a photo of, and a future rendering of, Club Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente; and 2 photos from the Liga MX 2012-Apertura Finals; and a photo of some of the Xolos’ faithful.
club-tijuana_estadio-caliente_2012-apertura-champions_felix-martinez_xolos-fans_d.gif
Photos and Image credits above -
Club Tijuana via sandiegored.com.
xolos.com.mx.
xolosd.com.
Tomas Bravo /Reuters via sbs.com.au.
xolosd.com.

    The bright future of Mexican fútbol

Mexican fútbol gets pretty decent attendance – the league as a whole averaged over 26,000 per game in 2011-12. There is not nearly the amount of the fan hooliganism, safety concerns, and threats of violence like which plagues some parts of the South American football scene. Whole families go to first division fútbol games in Mexico. There are really no ultras groups who intimidate fans and players and the front office, like in Argentina. There are some nice new stadiums (like Santos Laguna’s or Club Tijuana’s or that weird one in Guadalajara [home of the Goats]). And there are some very unique stadiums, like Toluca’s stadium – see this photo by Sergiopons at panoramio.com of Estadio Nemesio Diez in Toluca), or like Pachuca’s stadium – see this post from copasdelmundoenamerica.blogspot.com. Plus, there is that singular and monumental, world-class, 105,000-capacity leviathan that is Estadio Azteca (home of the highest-drawing club in the country, Club América).

Mexico produces top shelf players like Man United’s striker Javier Hernández and FC Barcelona’s defender Jonathan dos Santos. According to one media outlet based in Germany, the Mexican top flight is currently ranked #11 in the world {see this, ‘The world’s strongest leagues in 2012: First trends‘ (iffhs.de).

One big reason why Mexico doesn’t get it’s due is that so many of their best players choose to remain in the Mexican top flight rather than seek their fame and fortune in Europe. Just check out, via the following link at en.wikipedia.org, the current roster of the ‘Mexico national football team‘ to see my point. I know the roster will change as this post gets older, but as of January 9th 2013, only 3 of the 22 players on the Selección de fútbol de México play abroad – DF Héctor Moreno (of RCD Espanyol in Spain), MF Andrés Guardado (of Valencia CF in Spain), and the aforementioned Javier Hernández (of Manchester United in England). Mexican fútbol, both as a pro venture and as embodied by it’s national team, has huge potential – Mexico won the gold medal in men’s football in the London Olympics in 2012. Mexican fútbol deserves more international attention, and I am doing my small part.
___

Thanks to RSSSf site for list of Mexican champions, http://www.rsssf.com/tablesm/mexchamp.html.
Thanks tp RSSSF site for list of Mexican seasons, ‘México – List of Final Tables‘.
Thanks to zonu.com, for Federal District (aka Mexico City) base map.
Population-density map unattributed, from ‘Metropolitan areas of Mexico‘(en.wikipedia.org [uploaded by Rune.welsh].
Base map by Sémhur at commons.wikimedia.org, File:Mexico States blank map.svg.
Thanks to Tom Marshall for the 2 articles I featured here (from Goal.com at the top of the post, here again [A New year's Liga MX wishlist; and at soccer365.com, here again [attendances]. – here is Tom Marshall’s Twitter page – https://twitter.com/mexicoworldcup .
Thanks to David at XoloSD.com ( XoloSD.com ), for information on Liga MX.

October 1, 2010

Primera División de México, 2010 Apertura/2011 Clausura – Stadia map.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Mexico: Fútbol,Zoom Maps — admin @ 8:04 am

primera-division-mexico2010_post.gifl
Primera División de México 2010-11 – Stadia map


Mexican Primera 2010 Apertura, Primer, by John Jagou at BigSoccer.com

Both Apertura (August to December) and Clausura (January to May) champions are decided by the 8-team playoffs called the Liguilla {see this}. One club is relegated each season, and that is determined by the lowest 3-season total points ratio (ie, just like Argentina’s cynical system). This basically makes it easy for established clubs to avoid a one-bad-season relegation, and makes it harder for just-promoted clubs to remain in the first division, because newly-promoted clubs usually have to finish closer to the middle of the table to avoid the drop, since their points ratio will be from just 34 games versus other clubs whose ratio will be determined from 68 or 102 games.

There are some changes to the format {which, if you are unfamiliar with the Mexican top flight, you can read about on the map page of my last map of the Primera División de México, here [Feb. 9, 2009]}…Copa Libertadores spots #s 2 and 3 are no longer being decided by the now-scrapped Inter-Liga competition, but by the second best and third best finishes in the Apertura general table (Apertura Classification stage), and as before, the Apertura Classification stage leader gets the #1 Copa Libertadores spot.

So when following the Primera Divisón de México, especially in the autumn months (ie the Apertura), it is wise to keep an eye on not just the three divisions, but also the combined 18-team general table, because coveted Copa Libertadores spots are being fought for there.

Clausura 2010 champions were Deportivo Toluca, who beat Santos Laguna on penalties in the final of the playoffs in May. This is Toluca’s 10th title, making them tied for second-best all-time with América. Chivas de Guadalajara have the most titles, with 11. {List of Mexican professional era champions, here}. That makes it three of the last ten championships won by Toluca…pretty impressive for a club like Toluca, which gets relatively little media attention, plays in a stadium that only holds 27,000, and are from a city that is sixth-largest in the country {List of metropolitan areas in Mexico by area, here}. The fact that some clubs are owned by giant conglomerates, and in the case of Club América, by Televisa (the largest Spanish-speaking television and media organization in the world) doesn’t help provincial clubs like Toluca. Televisa actually owns two teams (which is a cartel, and should be illegal, like most everywhere else): the very popular and successful América, and the very weakly-supported and trophy-less San Luis. There is big money in televising Primera Divisón de México games {see this article, from the Australia.to News site, from 18 May, 2010, by Emilio Godoy, ‘Football Fortunes for Mexican TV‘}. América are known as Millonetas (Millionaires), for all the money the club has at it’s disposal.

Just like in Argentina, two clubs get the lions’ share of the spotlight in Mexico…Club América and Chivas de Guadalajara (Mexico City clubs Cruz Azul and Pumas de UNAM are the only other clubs that have relatively large fan support). But nevertheless, just like in Argentina, other clubs keep on winning the recent tournaments. In Mexico’s case, recent champions were Toluca (Apertura 2005, Apertura 2008, and Clausura 2010 champions), CF Monterrey (Apertura 2009 champions), Pumas de UNAM (Clausura 2009 champions), Santos Laguna (Clausura 2008 champions), and Pachuca (Clausura 2006 and Clausura 2007 champions). América’s last title was in Clausura 2005; Chivas’ last title was in Apertura 2006. [The wide range of recent champions is most likely less a product of an even playing field and is more likely a result of the byzantine league/playoff system and split season structure, where an upset or two has much larger implications here than it would in a long-haul, 10-month season.]

Below is a chart that shows the results of a 2010 poll, {found here (Consulta.mx site)}. It shows the most popular fútbol clubs in Mexico, and the percentage changes from 2008 to 2010….
mexico_poll_favorite-futbol-club_b.gif

Chivas de Guadalajara, which is owned by the corporation that runs Omnilife (Omnilife is the main rival of Herbalife), is a club that prides itself on only fielding players born in Mexico. [The policy is similar to the one at Spain's Athletic Bilbao, who only field Basque players, but there is a crucial difference... because the Spanish government suppresses Basque identity at an institutional level.] Chivas de Guadalajara’s policy, in this day and age of open markets, more fluid borders, and more cross-cultural interchange, is racist by definition. It is also foolish, because the policy does not give the club a chance to attract the best players. Chivas would probably have had a better chance of winning the 2010 Copa Libertadores final versus Internacional of Brazil, had they not had their Mexicans-only policy. I mean, Chivas doesn’t even want Mexican-Americans on their squad {see this from The Offside.com, by Daryl, from Feb. 2008, ‘But is He Mexican Enough?‘}. That’s when xenophobia trumps logic, because a California-born Mexican is still Mexican ethnically, and was born in an area that was once part of the nation of Mexico. Anyway, it is something that many Mexicans feel proud of and I am sorry but those people should be re-considering what it means to be a citizen of the planet Earth in 2010…people should be tearing down walls between different societies – legal walls, metaphorical walls, and physical walls. People should not be proud of policies of exclusion that prevent the inclusion of others who are different. And yes, I know in America there are many on the right wing who advocate just the sorts of things my last few sentances decried, like building a wall at the Mexican border, or passing creepy document-check/racial profiling laws like they did in the state of Arizona. But I do not support that political platform, I support an inclusive policy which is the polar opposite. Think of it this way…what would the response be if a German football club had a policy of only playing Germans? You think people would stand for that? OK, let’s try it with a country with a more benign 20th century history…what if a Swedish club had a policy of only playing Swedes? You see…no matter how you frame it, it comes off as racist, because IT IS RACIST. So why does Chivas de Guadalajara get a pass on this? For crying out loud, the Primera División de Mexico has exactly zero African players in it {see this, from The Best Eleven site, ‘Foreign Players in the Primera Divisón de México‘ [Feb., 2009]}. I checked, and as of October, 2010, there still are not any players from Africa in the rosters of any club in the Primera División de México. Granted, there have been a few Afro-Mexican players, including current Cruz Azul DF Melvin “Melvin of the Cocoa Crispies” Brown, and there have been a couple of Afro-Mexicans who have played for the Mexico national team, including Tottenham’s Giovanni dos Santos {see this, from The Culture of Soccer site, ‘Soccer and the Afro-Mexican Population‘ [March 12, 2007]. Also, it should be pointed out that there are a few prominent, dark-skinned Latin American players in the league, such as Tigres de UANL captain and FW Itamar Batista da Silva {profile at e.wikipedia.org, here}. But I did not make up that nickname that has been foisted upon Melvin Brown, and it pretty much proves my point about the damaging effects that the institutional encouragement of racial exclusivity has on a culture. Because it is pretty hard to accept the fact that that sort of nickname is still tolerated in Mexico.

And don’t get me started on Chivas de Guadalajara’s new stadium. Sure Estadio Omnilife {skyscrapercity.com thread, here} looks impressive and unique. It has been described as looking like a flying saucer landing on a volcano. But didn’t management consider the colossal irony of the fact that the exterior of the stadium is clad in actual, real, live grass, but the playing surface is artificial turf ? Real grass on the outside for show, but inside, where it matters, on the field, the players must run and tackle and slide and fall, and risk injury, on a playing surface that is concrete covered with plastic bristles. Duh. Estadio Omnilife is the sort of thing you would expect to see being built by Mr. Burns during an episode of The Simpsons.
-
I decided to make this map a Stadia map, even though I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to find good quality photos of some of the stadiums, so sorry for that. I decided to “make up” for that by adding another photo for each stadium, an interior shot. I decided I had to do that when I saw photos of Santos Laguna’s new Estadio Corona… it looks like a nice place to watch a match {photo gallery of Estadio Corona (II) with lots of photos of of the swank new facilities, here (at ‘Disfruta la Galería de Inaguación’, which is below the time-lapse video}. Plus I wanted to better show Deportivo Toluca’s ground, one of the oldest stadiums in Mexico (opened in 1954; hosted games in both World Cups in Mexico in 1970 and 1986), which I think is one of the coolest-looking football stadiums around. Here is an 11-photo gallery of Toluca’s Estadio Nemesio Díez, from deportivotolucafc.com, {click here}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, Primera División de México
Thanks to FootieMap.com/Mexico for location help.
Thanks to Ludwig for his message, which included maps he made of the Mexican first and second divisions, here (in the Comments section at the bottom, comment #4).

Photo credits…
Santos Laguna – exterior shot: at imageshack.us , here
interior: at Territorio Santos Modelo.com.mx .

San Luis – exterior: Google Earth shot via The Mistic.wordpress.com , here.
interior: BigSoccer.com forum (with lots of Mexican stadium photos), here.

Tigres de UANL – exterior: Fermin Tellez Rdz at Flickriver.com , ‘Estadio Universitario, San Nicholás de los Garza, N.L. México‘. Fermin Tellez Rdz’s photostream at Flick.com
interior: unattributed, from nuevaleon.wordpress.com [from Flickr.com files].
Monterrey – exterior: http://www.football-pictures.net
interior [wide photo]: Pato Garza at commons.wikimedia.org.: ‘The Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education’s Tecnológico Stadium in Monterrey, Mexico, during a professional football (soccer) match‘.

Necaxa – exterior: [sitio oficial] necaxafutbol.com/Estadio
interior: {from crisolplural.com/Deportes/Futbol} , Estadio Victoria de Aguascalientes.

Atlas – exterior: lalomg_0326 at flickr.com.
interior: Maximilian Laackmaan at www.asseltours.de, via www.fussballtempel.com.
Estudiantes Tecos – exterior:’Remodelan el estadio Tres de Marzo‘ (www.diacritico.com from 5-22-2009).
interior: Rigoberto H. Esquivel at mediotempo.com, here.
Chivas de Guadalajara – exterior: mexico.cnn.com, 29 de Julioo, 2010, ‘El Estadio Omnilife tendrá una inauguración al estilo europeo‘.
interior: Marco Guzman, Jr. at en.wikipedia.org/Estadio Omnilife, here.

Queretaro – exterior: www.queretaro.travel at flickriver.com.
interior: www.futboldeseleccion.com/Estadios Mexico .

Deportivo Toluca – exterior: Sergiopons at Panoramio.com, ‘Estadio Nemesio Diez desde el aire‘ .
interior: www.deportivotolucafc.com/estadio

Morelia – exterior: pollomar at photobucket.com
interior: ‘Monarchs will play Sundays noon during A10‘ (www.mediotempo.com, 5-26-2010).

Pachuca – exterior: ‘Inicia el cuadrangular Pachuca Cuna del Futbol Mexicano‘.
interior: Hector Jesus Tapia Fernandez at en.wikipedia.org/Estadio Hidalgo

Cruz Azul – exterior: Estadio Azul by vedur77 at flickr.comskyscrapercity.com thread, Estadio Azul (6 photos).
interior:estadio Azul by originalrocker at flickr.com. originalrocker’s photostream at flickr.com.
Pumas – exterior: unattributed/bigsoccer.com/forum.
interior: www.dalepumas.com/Estadio Olimpico Universitario.
América – exterior: unattributed at photobucket, but it says Ricardo Garrido/esmexico.com…no luck finding a link.
interior: Estadio Azteca by Samuel G. Valdes Montemayor at www.mexicofotos.com, here.

Atlante – exterior: www.colchonero.com/Futbol Mexicano thread [note: this link is recommended if you would like to see Mexican top flight jerseys circa 2009].
interior: fricki.net thread, here.

Puebla – exterior: [oficial sitio] www.pueblafutbolclub.com.mx/Estadio.
interior: unattributed at imageshack.us.

Jaguares de Chiapas – exterior: Miguel Abarca at mediotiempo.com
interior: danorebel at photobucket.com

June 23, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup: Mexico, 23-man roster.

Filed under: FIFA World Cup, 2010,Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 1:23 pm


Mexico World Cup squad.


The map shows the Mexico national football team which is competing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

At the bottom of the map page are photos of starters and key subs (18 player photos). International appearances (aka caps) and goals are listed, and are up to date as of 27 June, 2010.
-
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, Mexico national football team.
Thanks to USA-Soccer Jersey.com, for the photos of the Mexico jerseys.
Thanks to Demis.nl, for the base map of Mexico, Demis Web Map Server.

February 5, 2009

Mexico: Primera Division, 2009-Clausura-Map and Club Profiles.

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol,Zoom Maps — admin @ 7:42 am

primera-division-de-mexico_zoom-map2009-clausura_post.gif


The Clausura 2009 of the Primera Division de Mexico began in mid-January, and will run to the final day of May.  {Wikipedia page, Click here}.   The map features an explanation of the complex league format.  The format was established to help the clubs create fixtures which draw larger crowds (ie, the playoff matches,  as well as the US-based InterLiga matches which decide 2 of the 3 Copa Libertadores qualifiers).  The byzantine format has helped get many of the clubs out of crippling financial situations,  but it is rather complicated. 

Here is a good write-up about the Mexican Primera Divsion from the US Soccer Players site:  {Click here}.

Mexican Primera División table  {Click here (ESPN)}.

Thanks to the Albion Road site  {Click here}.  Plus thanks to Jeremy for helping me get to the bottom of the sordid CD Irapuoto-to-ersatz Veracruz-to-Jaguares de Chiapas franchise movement.

In 2002, the people who ran the Veracruz club had the gall to buy another club and move the team to Veracruz and play as Veracruz in the first division, while the real Veracruz was in the 2nd division.  They bought and moved the 1st division club  CD Irapuato in early 2002, in between the Verano 2001 and Invierno 2002 half-seasons. For 19 games in 2002, there was a Veracruz in both the first and the second divisions (!?).  So of course, the 2nd-division-Veracruz won promotion after the Invierno 2002.  Management sold the formerly-Irapuato-now-Veracruz club to a group in the impoverished and fractious Chiapas state.  [Remember the masked revolutionary-leader Subcommandante Marcos  {see this}, from news reports around 8 or 9 years ago?  That place.].  The original-Veracruz ended up being relegated back to the Primera División A (the 2nd division) after the Clausura 2008.  A new club was created,  in the 2nd division,  for Irapuato for the 2002-’03 season.  The club won promotion that season,  and played in Primera Division in the 2003-’04 season,  but were relegated in 2004.  Irapuato were relegated again to the third division.  3 years later,  Pachuca-B gained promotion to the second division,  and the club was sold and moved to…Irapuato.  Talk about full circle.

Note: In the link I put up from the US Soccer Players site,  this affair is touched upon in the 11th paragraph,  the one that begins… “Much like American sports, owners can throw a wrench in relegation plans by moving teams all over the country and changing names…”  {Click here,  and go to the 11th paragraph}.

Thanks to the contributors to the relevant pages at Wikipedia  {Mexican Primera Division page,  Click here}.

June 3, 2008

Mexico-2008 Clausura, Santos Laguna, Champions.

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 1:24 pm

santos_laguna2008_post_b.gif


Santos Laguna first made it to La Primera Division, Mexico’s top flight {see this, from Wikipedia},  in 1988,  just 5 years after they were founded.  They won their first Title in 1996, in the Invierno competition (which was played between August and November, and predated the corresponding Apertura competition, of today’s Mexican league).  The club won their second Title in the 2001 Verano competition (which was played in the spring, and is now called the Clausura).  They won their third Title last Sunday, after drawing 1-1 versus Cruz Azul,  to take the crown on a 3-2 aggregate.  This is a club that barely avoided relegation last year.

Here is a goal from the 29th May first leg, by Santos Laguna’s Fernando Arce (101 Goals site, click here}.

 {See this article, from Reuters}.

Here’s another photo of Estadio Corona, in Torreon, Coahuila- home of Santos Laguna; plus Google maps {click here (Panoramio site) }.

Thanks to Encyclopedia Brittanica.  Thanks to World Stadiums {click here}.   Thanks to ISC Jorge Garcia (Flickr photostream contibutor;  {Click here}).  Thanks to Colours Of Football site {click here}, for the kits.

May 31, 2008

Mexican Primera Division, Titles Chart.

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 4:11 pm

mexico_titles_by_club_post_b.gif


This chart shows a graphic depiction of the professional Titles won by Mexican football clubs, in thier domestic league (which started in 1943).  I have included all the clubs’ locations, in the 2008 Clausura, on the small map.

{Click here, for Wikipedia’s page on the Primera Division de Mexico.}

{Click here, for the official league website (in Spanish).}

On Sunday, 1st May,  Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul will be playing the second leg of Mexico’s 2008 Clausura Championship Final  {click here, for this article, from the Fox Soccer site}.  Santos has a 2-1 lead going into the match, and will host the finale. 

{Click here, for Wikipedia’s page on Cruz Azul.} 

{Click here,  for Wikipedia’s page on Santos Laguna.}

Chivas Guadalajara {click here, for their Wikipedia page),  and America {click here, for their Wikipedia page} are the two biggest football clubs in Mexico.  They are also first and second in total league Titles, and are the only two clubs in Mexico to have never been relegated from the top tier.  Chivas, from Mexico’s second-biggest city, Guadalajara, has 11 Titles.  America, from Mexico City, has 10 Titles.  Tied for third, with 8 Titles, are the Mexico City-based Cruz Azul (which means Blue Cross), and Toluca, from 50 miles west of the capital.  Toluca gets little media attention, but are a pretty successful club.  They have a nice roofed stadium, called the Estadio Nemesto Diaz {see this, from the World Stadiums site}  {see this, from the Mapas Mexico site}.  It is one of the oldest stadiums in Mexico (opened in 1954), but has been kept in pretty good condition.  It sort of looks like Queen’s Park Rangers’ Loftus Road ground, with close seating that put the fans right in the midst of the action, and stands that merge to form a bandbox {click here, for Wikipedia’s page on Toluca}.

{Click here, for photos of Mexican stadiums, from the Soccer Pulse Community site, using photos from worldstadiums[dot]com} [note: this thread is from 3 years ago, but I still think it’s worth checking out).

Thanks to (http://www.colours-of-football.com) for the kits.  Thanks to (http://www.worldstadiums.com).

February 7, 2008

Mexican Primera Division, Apertura 2007 & Clausura 2008-Map.

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol,Zoom Maps — admin @ 6:49 am

mexican_post_1.gif


The Mexican Clausura 2008 runs from January 18 to May 31.  Current champion is recently transplanted club Atlante.  Last summer, this poorly supported club from Mexico City moved 600 miles east, to the resort town of Cancun, on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.  Then they won the Apertura 2007, in December, beating UNAM Pumas 2-1, in the second leg of the playoffs final. 

Teams are split into three groups.  Clausura 2008 standings (general), click here.  To see the Clausura 2008 groups, click here.   Pacuca won the last Clausura (2007).

Here is a round-up of games played last weekend:  {Click for http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/mexico }.

8 teams make the playoffs.  The top 2 teams from each group make it to the playoffs (6 teams); the last 2 spots are determined by a sub-playoff between 7th through 10th place finishers.  There is one team relegated after each Apertura or Clausura; and one team is promoted from the second division.   Which team is relegated is decided on a three-year points average (like Argentina).  This helps maintain the status quo, as a team just promoted has to finish much higher than second-from-last to avoid the drop.  **{See this article, from the Guardian website, which goes into the complexities of the Mexican Pimera Division’s playoff system and relegation system.}

The Mexican Primera Division has no unified television contract; each team has their own TV deal.  Like the relegation format, this also allows the bigger clubs to maintain their prominent status.   The two big clubs in Mexico are Chivas Guadalajara (11 titles), and America (10 titles).  Chivas last league title was the 2006 Apertura; America’s last title was the 2005 Clausura. 

[Note:  I was unable to find attendance figures for the teams in the Mexican Primera Division, but I did find a list (from October 2007) that has the Mexican league drawing around 22,000 per game.  Click here, for the list. ]

Powered by WordPress