Separation Anxiety

This season started with the normalcy one would expect in recent years. Many teams looked good. There was a hint of resurgence from some. There were the dregs of the league performing justly. And the power of the league resided in Monterrey.

Rayados, under the leadership of Antonio Mohamed, looked to be back in the driver's seat in the league. Their form had been growing for a few seasons. Their acquisition of big time South American talent was paying off. Mohammed imposed his physical nature and defensive organization on a squad that had lost its way. Rayados were again Rayados.

Tigres were coming off their momentous 2015 that saw them capture the title in dramatic fashion and come within 90 minutes of the Copa Libertadores trophy. The ridiculously stacked roster of Tigres had little reason to be anything other than the prohibitive favorites to repeat as champion.

Crazy things happen in this league. Anyone with some history with Liga MX knows not to hold too tightly to the hopes of any one team. The Liguilla is a minefield waiting for the best to take one clumsy step.  They often do just that. We could call it "The Curse of the Superlider" if it only came for the team at the very top. The Liguilla will strike down deserving champions with impunity.

This season, despite this unpredictability, looked to be an arms race between the teams from Nuevo Leon. Which one would build as the season went on? Which side of Monterrey would avoid the pitfalls come the deciding moments?

It hasn't played out that way.

Rayados are living up to their half of the arrangement. In first place with four games remaining, they have already locked up their Liguilla place.  Their 6-0 demolition of Chiapas this weekend put an exclamation point on their status as title favorites. They are doing everything you could want from a title contender at this point.

We can't say the same for Tigres. Their loss to Pachuca this weekend pushed them out of the current top eight in the standings. Reasons for the drop in results are mixed. It's a fairly proven that defending a title is often harder than making a run to the first in almost any team sport. The hunger is just not the same after the pinnacle has been reached. The championship hangover could be playing a part in what we are seeing from Tigres. It also appears that the team has gone through something of an identity shift. The normally pragmatic or even staunchly defensive (depending on your feelings about Mr. Tuca Ferretti) squad has shifted under their recent talent acquisition. Javier Aquino, Jurgen Damm, and Andre-Pierre  Gignac don't make for a team that is always happy to sit back and wait to pounce. This is not to say that those players are incapable to playing the counter-attack. They certainly have the ability to do just that. The overall identity of this team is just not the same. The combination of this dynamic attacking talent along with being the team everyone is looking to take down has loosened the padlock that used to reside in front of the Tigres goal. This weekend's loss at Pachuca is emblematic of this altered identity. If any team was capable of getting a lead and sitting on it for the remaining minutes it would normally be a Tuca-led squad. Pachuca could score on any defense, but Tigres normally win games like that regardless of their opposition. Tigres still have a great chance to do something this season, but time is short. With a tightly-packed mid-table to contend with, Tigres are running out of wiggle room. Their form will need to improve if they are to even qualify for the Liguilla.

Two other teams have filled the void vacated by Tigres at the top of the pack. Neither could come as a complete shock. There is no Leicester City here. Yet, there was a fair share of doubt surrounding these two.

Club America can normally be penciled in to be one of the few with a solid chance of being there at the end of the season. As it turns out, media conglomerate money goes a long way.  But setting aside my obvious bias, America was by no means a lock this season. A disappointing exit in the Liguilla last season was followed by the horrible loss to Guangzhou Evergrande in the Club World Cup. Predictably, doubts around the leadership of manager Ignacio Ambriz intensified. There was no certainty to how this team would enter a new campaign. Reinforcements like William da Silva seemed only to reinforce the one track nature of the club. This was a team that only looked to attack and left the defense of their own net to a passing afterthought. They could score but could be scored on in equal measure.

While I would argue that this still applies to this team to a certain extent, last season's title match-up might just prove that it doesn't matter. Normally this style fails in the big games when opposing defenses tighten. I'm not so sure it will be a problem for the Aguilas this time around. Their 6-1 shellacking of Tijuana on Saturday demonstrated the firepower that resides in this team.  Oribe Peralta and Darwin Quintero have rekindled some of their Santos Laguna magic and found a true rhythm with America.  Benedetto, Andrade, Arroyo, da Silva and even Aguilar are all more than capable of taking over scoring duties for the day should any other falter. There are just so many options. Regardless of who is putting the ball in the net, it's highly likely the service is coming from Rubens Sambueza. His play continues to be crucial for the success of the club, and fortunately for the capital city club, Sambueza is killing it.

Club America have separated themselves from the midtable bunch and look poised for a deep run. Whether they could keep away from the red cards in the big games remains to be seen.

The Tuzos of Pachuca have created some separation as well. The aforementioned win over Tigres went a long way to solidifying their place among this group. Pachuca has for some time been one of the best teams to watch week in and week out. Their contingent of young Mexican stars on the rise make them must-see viewing. However, they continue to put together a résumé that not only speaks to their talent but even more so - their mettle.  The Tuzos have some holes in defense (like most teams, really), but it rarely shows up in the score line. Pachuca will be in a position to win something big come May and are squashing any doubts that certain Mexican soccer bloggers might have been clinging to.

Santos Laguna, Cruz Azul, Tigres, Leon, and a host of other mid-table teams that inexplicably includes Chivas all have a shout at pulling some upsets in the Liguilla. But they will be just that. Monterrey, America, and Pachuca have separated themselves from the pack. All others have an uphill climb to face. 

 

 

** photo used under creative commons license from Pierre

 

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Short, white and just right

William Travilla, the designer of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white halter-neck outfit in The Seven Year Itch , called it “that silly little dress”. Yes, that was the one where she stood on top of a New York subway grate and battled an updraft. In 2011, that very dress was auctioned off for $4.6 million.

The little white dress (LWD), 60 years later, is still beloved, and is more popular than ever with summer raising the mercury levels.

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Although the LBD (Little Black Dress) is touted as every woman’s best friend, the LWD lends an ethereal look, and can be styled for any occasion. “You can think of LWD as the little black dress’s summer rival,” says the designer duo Diya Aroraa and Rajvvir Aroraa of the label DiyaRajvvir. “Being a neutral shade, it’s versatile for both day and evening wear. It’s a go-to staple of the season, but one we also love for the fall,” they add.

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Designer Karn Malhotra says, “White is a soothing colour, especially for the harsh Indian sun. From being an evening bodycon dress with hints of colour block elements, to an alluring white slip dress for a brunch, you cannot go wrong with the ivory shades.”

The modern avatar of the LWD is credited to André Courrèges, who, in his 1965 spring/summer collection, showcased a ‘moon girl’ look that sparked a resurgence of the style. Although white was never out of style — as a symbol of purity, it was popular since the early 19th century.

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Now, of course, there is a style of LWD to suit every mood and body type, occasion and event. It also helps that the colour suits almost every skin tone. City designer Dimple Raghani says, “For a sporty, casual look, opt for skater or frill dresses paired with sneakers. For a formal look, pick a fitted bodycon dress with minimal accessories. The same ensemble could be paired with a brightly-coloured blazer to add freshness and a spark of personality.”

Diya Aroraa and Rajvvir Aroraa suggest a cotton or linen shirt dress or sun dress for casual dos, paired with leather accessories, tie-ups or gladiator-style footwear and a tan fringed suede bag. “For a feminine look, floral head gear and a lace cape will be apt. Go formal with a stylish cocktail dress with slight embellishments or hand-painted floral motifs,” they say.

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When it comes to accessorising, Malhotra advises using pop colours like hot pink, lemon yellow or tangerine to ‘colour-block the look’. “But make sure you use only one colour and in only one area, be it a bag, bold lip or footwear. Don’t overdo it.”

Vandana Jagwani, creative head at Mahesh Notandass Fine Jewellery, echoes this, “Pair a vibrant-coloured accessory like coral or turquoise earrings or a statement ring with bold motifs. The LWD leaves a lot of room to play with funky as well as simple jewellery.” She recommends stylish palm cuffs or ear cuffs and stacking bracelets of varying sizes, colours and textures or gold bangles with coin or tassels. However, go classic for an evening out, with a diamond or emerald ring or pendant, depending on the style and silhouette of the ensemble. For a dash of elegance, a string of pearls will do the trick.

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While the summery LWD is appealing, designers are sure that it won’t be edging out the LBD anytime soon. Raghani says, “LBDs have ruled for ages, no matter what the season is. This summer, the LWD is taking centre-stage on ramps and in street fashion as well.” The Aroraa duo reiterates that while it’s perfect for an afternoon soirée, brunch or sun-downer, they “believe it can never overpower the classic LBD”.

yolobaba's picture

Short, white and just right

William Travilla, the designer of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white halter-neck outfit in The Seven Year Itch , called it “that silly little dress”. Yes, that was the one where she stood on top of a New York subway grate and battled an updraft. In 2011, that very dress was auctioned off for $4.6 million.

The little white dress (LWD), 60 years later, is still beloved, and is more popular than ever with summer raising the mercury levels.

<a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-2-b0-Women+Clothing.html" title="girls party dresses">girls party dresses</a>

Although the LBD (Little Black Dress) is touted as every woman’s best friend, the LWD lends an ethereal look, and can be styled for any occasion. “You can think of LWD as the little black dress’s summer rival,” says the designer duo Diya Aroraa and Rajvvir Aroraa of the label DiyaRajvvir. “Being a neutral shade, it’s versatile for both day and evening wear. It’s a go-to staple of the season, but one we also love for the fall,” they add.

<a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-2-b0-Women+Clothing.html" title="cheap prom dresses">cheap prom dresses</a>

Designer Karn Malhotra says, “White is a soothing colour, especially for the harsh Indian sun. From being an evening bodycon dress with hints of colour block elements, to an alluring white slip dress for a brunch, you cannot go wrong with the ivory shades.”

The modern avatar of the LWD is credited to André Courrèges, who, in his 1965 spring/summer collection, showcased a ‘moon girl’ look that sparked a resurgence of the style. Although white was never out of style — as a symbol of purity, it was popular since the early 19th century.

<a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-2-b0-Women+Clothing.html" title="dresses for prom">dresses for prom</a>

Now, of course, there is a style of LWD to suit every mood and body type, occasion and event. It also helps that the colour suits almost every skin tone. City designer Dimple Raghani says, “For a sporty, casual look, opt for skater or frill dresses paired with sneakers. For a formal look, pick a fitted bodycon dress with minimal accessories. The same ensemble could be paired with a brightly-coloured blazer to add freshness and a spark of personality.”

Diya Aroraa and Rajvvir Aroraa suggest a cotton or linen shirt dress or sun dress for casual dos, paired with leather accessories, tie-ups or gladiator-style footwear and a tan fringed suede bag. “For a feminine look, floral head gear and a lace cape will be apt. Go formal with a stylish cocktail dress with slight embellishments or hand-painted floral motifs,” they say.

<a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-1-b0-Wedding+Apparel.html" title="wholesale wedding dresses">wholesale wedding dresses</a>

When it comes to accessorising, Malhotra advises using pop colours like hot pink, lemon yellow or tangerine to ‘colour-block the look’. “But make sure you use only one colour and in only one area, be it a bag, bold lip or footwear. Don’t overdo it.”

Vandana Jagwani, creative head at Mahesh Notandass Fine Jewellery, echoes this, “Pair a vibrant-coloured accessory like coral or turquoise earrings or a statement ring with bold motifs. The LWD leaves a lot of room to play with funky as well as simple jewellery.” She recommends stylish palm cuffs or ear cuffs and stacking bracelets of varying sizes, colours and textures or gold bangles with coin or tassels. However, go classic for an evening out, with a diamond or emerald ring or pendant, depending on the style and silhouette of the ensemble. For a dash of elegance, a string of pearls will do the trick.

<a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-1-b0-Wedding+Apparel.html" title="cheap bridesmaid dresses">cheap bridesmaid dresses</a>

While the summery LWD is appealing, designers are sure that it won’t be edging out the LBD anytime soon. Raghani says, “LBDs have ruled for ages, no matter what the season is. This summer, the LWD is taking centre-stage on ramps and in street fashion as well.” The Aroraa duo reiterates that while it’s perfect for an afternoon soirée, brunch or sun-downer, they “believe it can never overpower the classic LBD”.

yolobaba's picture

When it comes to fashion, most men could care less. Shopping? Same thing. Makeup? Not interested. But when it comes to how sexy a woman looks when she's all done up or just chilling in her sweatpants, men are all ears, or eyes we should say—they're visual creatures, what do you expect? They don't care about the hottest new fashion trends or how much a tank top <a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-104-b0-Jackets++Coats.html" title="opportunity cost ">opportunity cost</a> (well, sort of), as long as it looks good on a woman and hugs her curves in all the right places, it's good enough for them. Common though, where's the fun in that? Men have to have a look they love on a gal, right? Here's what we concluded after careful consideration:<br>1. Men Love Women in a T-Shirt and Tight Jeans<br>Turns out the casual, au natural look isn't so bad after all. "It's sexy and shows off the curves, but still leaves things to the imagination," says Rafael, an LA based designer. Emma from UK would also have to agree, noting that her husband prefers her most when she's wearing <a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-113-b0-Jeans.html" title="boyfriend jeans">boyfriend jeans</a>, a t-shirt and no makeup.<br>2. Men Don't Love Women in Clothes That Look Like They Cost More than Their Car<br>What!? Guys don't love Chanel?!?! "Although it may look good," says Dan, a Manhattan based comedian, "it will make most heterosexual, down to earth men run the other way." Hmm, we guess high maintenance isn't really their thing?<a href="http://www.yolobaba.com/category-113-b0-Jeans.html" title="jeans for men">jeans for men</a><br>3. Different Is Good<br>"A different or unique outfit reflects a confident woman who is sure of herself," says Andrew Schrage, Editor of the Money Crashers personal finance blog. "Even if it's not the most physically attractive outfit, the thought behind it can be mentally stimulating," Awesome, we love this! Is this outfit too different?<br>4. Body-Con Dresses Are Great<br>No surprise here—guys love anything that's form fitting!<br>5. Yoga Pants Are Probably the Best<br>We kind of have to agree…they do make our tushes look good! "I don't know when they became an acceptable thing to wear out, but I'm just glad they did," says Mike of NC.<br>6. Oh, and High Heels Are Super Sexy as Well<br>This one goes without saying. Every guy loves a woman in high heels!<br>http://www.yolobaba.com