Deportes Telemundo is starting 2013 in style with two season openers of the Liga MX on “Fútbol Estelar”. Both matches will be broadcast by Deportes Telemundo’s announcer Andrés Cantor with commentary by play-by-play analyst Sammy Sadovnik. Each one of these matches can also be seen online at deportestelemundo.com.
The action starts on Saturday, January 5 as León will attempt to show Querétaro (9 PM ET, 8 PM CT, 6 PM PT) that its success at the top hasn’t just been a mirage. The home team will try to win its fan base over with the debut of two of the best additions of the tournament. “The Kaiser” Rafa Márquez returns to play professionally in his home country with León after 13 years abroad, while Nery Castillo bring his talents to the Camp Nou for the first time in his career.
Meanwhile, Querétaro will face the arduous task of trying to remain as one of the members of the league’s top flight after finishing 2012 in last place both in the Apertura tournament and the relegation standings. However, they will have an additional weapon at their disposal this time around as veteran midfielder Pablo Gabas joins the club after winning it all in Costa Rica with Alajualense.
Mexico will also witness a “clash of the titans” on Sunday, January 6 between two powerhouses such as Toluca, last season’s runner-up and regular season leader, and Chivas, one of the country’s most popular squads. Guadalajara experienced quite an upheaval during the offseason, with one of the most notable moves being the firing of John Van’t Schip as the team’s head coach just two days before the start of the season. Benjamín Galindo, who coached Chivas previously between 2004 and 2005, was immediately hired to take his place that very same day. Van’t Schip had already welcomed much needed reinforcements to the team such as Monterrey’s “Cherokee” Pérez, Cruz Azul’s Adrián Cortés and the return of renowned striker Miguel Sabah. Johan Cruyff had also been axed during the offseason as a consultant after the team was eliminated in the playoffs by this same Toluca squad.
Toluca has developed options to strengthen its squad in various areas of the pitch with forward Flavio Santos, defender Fausto Pinto and midfielder Xavier Báez, who actually just left Chivas after spending five years playing in Guadalajara. Toluca will play both in the Mexican league and the prestigious Copa Libertadores, South America’s most coveted international tournament.