Pizarro to Chivas, Marchesin to Club America steal Liga MX draft spotlight

Believe it or not, the next Liga MX season is almost underway. That's right, the 2017 Clausura will begin on Jan. 6, less than two weeks after Tigres or Club America are crowned champions of the 2016 Apertura on Christmas Day.

With the start of the new campaign just around the corner, representatives from Liga MX clubs met on Wednesday to take part in this year's winter Liga MX draft. According to the league, 46 transfers were made in total on the day. And while 14 of the 46 were definitive swaps, 32 were players sent on loan too.

Here, we review and dish out our ratings for how each team fared (ratings from one to 10, 10 being the highest). The teams are listed as they finished the 2016 Apertura regular season.


In: None
Out: Rodrigo Salinas (Toluca), Gabriel Hauche (Toluca)
Rating: 4/10

Despite the fact that Miguel "Piojo" Herrera already has a powerful roster at his disposal, he could have benefited from the addition of fresh faces on Wednesday. Instead, the only thing worth noting was Hauche's exit for Toluca.


In: Stefan Medina (Monterrey), Victor Guzman (Chivas)
Out: Marco Bueno (Monterrey), Rodolfo Pizarro (Chivas), Rodolfo Cota (Chivas)
Rating: 6/10

Losing Pizarro will hurt Pachuca, but Los Tuzos have plenty of up-and-coming youngsters who they can count on to help with the transition. Guzman, who has played with Mexico's Under-23 and Under-20 squads, will likely thrive with Diego Alonso's team.


In: None
Out: Gerardo Lugo (Queretaro)
Rating: 3/10

Nothing of note from Tigres on Wednesday, but the team still has more time to make some signings before the start of the next tournament.


In: Rodolfo Pizarro (Pachuca), Rodolfo Cota (Pachuca)
Out: Jorge Enriquez (Santos), Mario de Luna (Necaxa), Carlos Pena (Leon), Antonio Rodriguez (Leon), Victor Guzman (Pachuca)
Rating: 7.5/10

Pizarro's move is massive for Chivas. Working alongside an option like Orbelin Pineda, Los Rojiblancos will have one of the best midfield duos in the league. Renewing Cota's loan was also an intelligent choice from the organization.


In: Agustin Marchesin (Santos)
Out: Ventura Alvarado (Santos), Osvaldo Martinez (Santos)
Rating: 7/10

Marchesin is arguably the best goalkeeper in Mexico. The 28-year-old has been phenomenal for Los Guerreros and has the talents to eventually make his way to Europe. Before potentially making that leap, he will steal headlines with his eye-catching saves at Estadio Azteca.


In: Bryan Rabello (Santos), Erik Vera (Necaxa)
Out: Luis Fuentes (Monterrey), Eduardo Herrera (Veracruz), Marcelo Alatorre (Veracruz), Fidel Martinez (Atlas)
Rating: 5/10

Will Pumas be able to put together a strong tournament without a few veteran players? Rabello is a nice addition, but the Mexico City team could have used another experienced Liga MX name as well.


In: Mario de Luna (Chivas)
Out: Erik Vera (Pumas)
Rating: 4/10

There isn't much to say about Necaxa's involvement in the draft either. De Luna, who was a starter for Los Rayos last season, had his loan renewed by Chivas.


In: Carlos Pena (Chivas), Antonio Rodriguez (Chivas)
Out: Aldo Rocha (Morelia), Efrain Velarde (Toluca)
Rating: 7/10

Bringing back midfielder "Gullit" Pena was a smart decision, as was the addition of Rodriguez. With William Yarbrough still on the team, Leon will now have two strong Liga MX goalkeepers to utilize next year.


In: Luis Fuentes (Pumas), Jesus Molina (Santos), Marco Bueno (Pachuca), Jonathan Cristaldo (Cruz Azul)
Out: Jonathan Orozco (Santos), Stefan Medina (Pachuca), Hiram Mier (Queretaro)
Rating: 6.5/10

Orozco will be missed in net for Monterrey, but the switch for Molina should help to ease the pain for fans of Los Rayados. Fuentes and Bueno are two intriguing options who will boost the depth of the very talented roster.


In: Efrain Velarde (Leon), Rodrigo Salinas (Tijuana), Gabriel Hauche (Tijuana)
Out: Gerardo Rodriguez (Morelia)
Rating: 6/10

Hauche is the most noteworthy name here for Toluca. The Argentine thrived with Xolos last season and will be a welcome option for Los Diablos Rojos in the upcoming Clausura tournament.


In: Hiram Mier (Monterrey), Gerardo Lugo (Tigres), Armando Zamorano (Morelia)
Out: Mario Osuna (Morelia)
Rating: 4.5/10

If Mier can stay healthy, Queretaro should have a more stable defense. That said, it's still tough to feel excited about a squad that will likely remain in a mid-table position in 2017.


In: Jeronimo Amione (Cruz Azul), Carlos Orrantia (Santos)
Out: Matias Alustiza (Atlas)
Rating: 4/10

Without Alustiza, the team's leading goalscorer from last season, Puebla fans will likely feel worried for the Clausura. It's doubtful that the newcomers, or anyone else on the roster, will be able to fill the big shoes of the 32-year-old.


In: Emanuel Loeschbor (Cruz Azul), Rodolfo Vilchis (Atlas), Mario Osuna (Queretaro), Aldo Rocha (Leon), Gerardo Rodriguez (Toluca)
Out: Armando Zamorano (Queretaro)
Rating: 6.5/10

At the moment, Morelia is most likely to be relegated next summer. Looking at the new faces, it's clear that the team has focused on reinforcing the midfield and defense. Will a strong back line be enough to avoid a drop to the second division?


In: Gabriel Penalba (Veracruz)
Out: Emanuel Loeschbor (Morelia), Jeronimo Amione (Puebla), Lucas Silva (Chiapas), Jonathan Cristaldo (Monterrey)
Rating: 5/10

Penalba has a great chance of stealing a starting spot for Cruz Azul in the upcoming season. The big question is whether or not the midfielder will be enough to help carry the Mexico City team to a spot in the top eight.


In: Matias Alustiza (Puebla), Fidel Martinez (Pumas)
Out: Rodrigo Salinas (Toluca), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Chiapas), Rodolfo Vilchis (Morelia)
Rating: 7.5/10

With Alustiza and Martinez in the starting XI, Atlas' attack is suddenly a very threatening one. Keep an eye out for the club, which should be able to rack up more goals than usual next season.


In: Julio Furch (Veracruz), Jorge Enriquez (Chivas), Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey), Osvaldo Martinez (America), Ventura Alvarado (America)
Out: Freddy Hinestroza (Veracruz), Martin Bravo (Veracruz), Kristian Alvarez (Veracruz), Javier Orozco (Veracruz), Bryan Rabello (Pumas), Agustin Marchesin (America), Jesus Molina (Monterrey), Carlos Orrantia (Puebla)
Rating: 7.5/10

Although Los Guerreros took a risk by shuffling around so many players, they have emerged with numerous options that should help them improve. Furch, who had no trouble finding the back of the net for Veracruz, will be one of the keys for success.


In: Martin Bravo (Santos), Kristian Alvarez (Santos), Javier Orozco (Santos), Freddy Hinestroza (Santos), Antonio Briseno (Juarez), Eduardo Herrera (Pumas), Marcelo Alatorre (Pumas)
Out: Gabriel Penalba (Cruz Azul), Julio Furch (Santos)
Rating: 6/10

Like Morelia, Veracruz is another candidate that will be taking part in the relegation race. Through new options like Bravo, Orozco and Herrera, Los Tiburones Rojos will put all of their attacking faith on the shoulders of some new veterans.


In: Lucas Silva (Cruz Azul), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Atlas)
Out: None
Rating: 4.5/10

Chiapas brought in two experienced midfielders to support the team that has struggled in recent years. If Veracruz and Morelia quickly regain some points in the Clausura, Los Jaguares might be the next in line to be relegated.