Clausura 2022 in review: From Atlas to censorship
Hugo Nervo and Aldo Rocha exult with the trophies won by Atlas who claimed their second consecutive Liga MX championship on May 29. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images)
With the Apertura 2022 kicking off on July 1, this is an ideal time to take a quick look back at the Clausura 2022 season.
The big news was that Atlas won its second consecutive title, only the third team to go back-to-back since Liga MX switched to half-seasons in the summer of 1996 (the other two teams are UNAM and León). The third-seeded “Rojinegros” defeated top-seeded Pachuca in the final, holding on for a 3-2 aggregate win.
The Zorros have collected more league championships in the past seven months than they had earned in the previous 105 years of the franchise’s existence. Prior to winning the Apertura 2021 trophy in December, Atlas had only one once and that came in the 1950-51 season.
Tigres teammates André-Pierre Gignac and Luis Quiñones were the offensive stars. Gignac led Liga MX with 11 goals while Quiñones was top assist man on the season (6). Tigres and Pachuca led the league with 30 goals in the 17 regular-season games, while Atlas and Pachuca were the stingiest clubs, each allowing just 15 goals.
Liga MX honors its stars
Just last Sunday, the Liga MX family convened to pay tribute to the best players and coaches, and to present the best players – and the best goal – with Balón de Oro trophies.
The ceremony took place in Los Angeles and Atlas dominated the show. No surprise, really, since the Zorros won are back-to-back champions.
The Atlas heroes were during the Balón de Oro ceremony were: Camilo Vargas (Best Goalie and league MVP); Hugo Nervo (Best Central Defender); Aldo Rocha (Best Defensive Midfielder); Julián Quiñones (Best Attacking Midfielder); and Diego Cocca (Coach of the Year).
Other honorees were: Jordan Carrillo, Santos Laguna (Best Newcomer); André-Pierre Gignac, Tigres (Best Striker); Kevin Álvarez, Pachuca (Best Fullback); and Juan Escobar, Cruz Azul (Best Goal).
The Liga MX Femenil was also recognized during the awards show. Guadalajara’s fabulous striker Alicia Cervantes was awarded the Golden Boot after leading the Lady Chivas to the Liga MX Femenil title, while Monterrey’s Eva Espejo was honored as Best Coach.
Earlier this month, Liga MX revealed its All-Star line-up, a squad dominated by the two finalists, Atlas and Pachuca.
Goalie: Camilo Vargas (Atlas)
Defenders: Kevin Álvarez (Pachuca), Hugo Nervo (Atlas), Gustavo Cabral (Pachuca), Luis Reyes (Atlas)
Midfielders: Aldo Rocha (Atlas), Víctor Guzmán (Pachuca), Diego Valdés (América)
Forwards: Julián Quiñones (Atlas), Nicolás Ibáñez (Pachuca), André-Pierre Gignac (Tigres).