Torta Tuesday: Jornada 7, Apertura 2012

I've made the unwise decision to eat a torta while writing this column. The pictured torta is the one I just took down (chile relleno topped with manchego and chorizo). Side effects of this new process are currently unknown. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the end of this column becomes garbled gibberish as I gently slip in to a food coma. 

What's happening: Jornada 7 Results and Table:

Tijuana   2 - 0  Chiapas ... Tijuana converts their chances and Chiapas does not. Cirilo Saucedo played a part in this. 

Morelia   0 - 1  Pumas ... . Pumas should fire their manager every week, if it means they will play like they did against Morelia.

Cruz Azul 1 - 1  Pachuca ... Cruz Azul with cerca 95% possesion, but need a Gerardo Torrado equalizer in stoppage time to get the point.  

Queretaro 0 - 1  Atlante ... Prediction: This was the last time Queretaro will host Atlante for several years.

Monterrey 1 - 1  Atlas ... What's up with Monterrey? Seriously ... who broke them? 

Santos    3 - 1  Tigres ... Smacks, gauntlets, and other dangerous things were thrown down. Tigres were the recipients. 

San Luis  0 - 2  Leon ... Leon could have easily had four goals in this one. 

Toluca    1 - 1  America ... Toluca stay undefeated and keep their spot atop the table. They are setting themselves up nicely for a very disappointing first round loss in the playoffs.  

Chivas    1 - 1  Puebla ... An 82nd minute goal from Luis Morales salavages whatever dignity Chivas have left.  

Who's the big winner?: Tijuana

I'll be the first to admit, I've been a doubter of the Xolos. I was totally on board with Antonio Mohammed last season and the way he had his team playing. However, I fully anticipated some regression this season as the league caught up to their style of play and the first year buzz wore off. This has not been the case as Tijuana are currently in great form and looking like a real danger come Liguilla time. 
While a win over Chiapas at home is nothing to get overly excited about, this is exactly the type of matchup a pretender would have slipped up with. Tijuana continues to take care of business and sits in second place in the league. Not too shabby for the Xolos. 

Goal of the Week: Darwin Quintero, Santos

Darwin Quintero, like much of the Santos squad, started the season a bit sluggish. That, he is not now. He scored twice against Tigres on Saturday, and both goals were amazing in their own ways. His first goal came off a volley at a hard angle. It was difficult enough to get his foot on the ball, but to put that ball on net with power was just ridiculous. His second goal is our goal of the week. Quintero pulled off a perfect chip shot off the break that left Tigres's keeper, Enrique Reyes, slump-shouldered and helpless. 

Only on the condition that you call me Esteban: Esteban Paredes, Atlante 

Esteban is now tied for the league lead with five goals in seven matches. With company such as Lucas Lobos and the aforementioned Darwin Quintero, Paredes is clearly having a major impact in his first season in Mexico. This is nothing new for Paredes as he scored plenty of goals for Colo-Colo of Chile the past few years. Paredes and his goals are, however, a new and exciting addition to Atlante. 

This is my boomstick: Santos

Santos were showing some serious symptoms of the championship hangover this season. They dropped several easy points to lesser opponents. Coming off of a midweek trip to Toronto for CONCACAF champions league play, this home match against tough competition looked like trouble for Santos. Yet, Santos came out on fire with two goals in the first 18 minutes of play. Tigres would give them a good fight, but ultimately Santos were better on the day. When Santos are firing on all cylinders, there are few teams who could keep up. It looks like it's a bad time to have them on the schedule. 

What does this mean?: Morelia 0 - 1 Pumas

Did Del Omo's firing inspire Pumas to play relentlessly throughout the Morelia match? Are Pumas now showing the potential that many pegged them to have at the beginning of the season? Do Morelia have some serious flaws against pressure defense? Is Morelia's goalkeepr really Journey frontman, Steve Perry?  Did Tomas Boy returning to the league put the hex on Morelia? 

Maybe some of these are true or possibly none. More likely than not this was just a bad day for Morelia accompanied with Pumas playing well. We shall see. 

Predictions: Jornada 8 Schedule and Predictions

Friday, September 14

8:30 ET - Pachuca v Morelia ... Pachuca were overrun in their last match, but Cruz Azul couldn't finish. Joao Rojas, Miguel Sabah, and Jefferson Montero could do some damage in this one. Morelia wins 2-0

8:30 ET - Chiapas v Toluca ... It's always tough to play in Chiapas even when the Jaguares are in shambles. 1-1 draw.

10:30 ET - Leon v Chivas ...  I still think Chivas will be much improved by the end of the season, but it won't happen in Guanajuato. Leon wins 1-0.

Saturday, September 15

6:00 ET - America v Santos ... Goalfest at the Azteca! Santos are better, but I could see America scoring on them. 3-3 draw.

8:00 ET - Tigres v Cruz Azul ... The polar opposite of the previous match. 0-0 draw. 

10:00 ET - Atlas v Queretaro ... FYI, will be picking Queretaro to lose every week from here on out. Atlas wins 2-0 

Sunday, September 16

1:00 ET - Puebla v Monterrey ... Puebla has shown signs of life, but Monterrey has to win this one. Monterrey wins 2-1.

1:00 ET - Pumas v San Luis ... Pumas take care of business at home against the struggling San Luis. Pumas win 2-0.  

7:00 ET - Atlante v Tijuana ... Tijuana are off to a great start, but the sneaky-good run that Atlante is not to be overlooked. 1-1 draw.