Javier Aquino, Cruz Azul and Mexican National Team Midfielder, has signed with Villarreal on a full transfer. Aquino, it should be noted, is a CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion, Pan American Games Champion, Toulon Tournament Champion, and an Olympics Games Champions. He was also a starting midfielder for Cruz Azul and will be sorely missed at the Mexican club.
I think he will have an excellent opportunity with Villarreal as it fights to get promotion into Spain’s First Division. Villarreal currently sits in 8th position in the table, but it is only 7 points behind Almería in the battle for direct promotion into La Liga BBVA. Elche leads the league in first place and appears assured to get one of two direct promotion slots. The battle is for the second slot, and Villarreal appears to be gearing up for the challenge.
In addition to Aquino, Villarreal has also acquired Jérémy Perbet, a prolific scorer in the Belgian League.
Carlos Vela, Mexican International and Real Sociedad forward, has had a memorable couple of weeks.
On Saturday, January 19th, Vela had a great match against Barcelona. He provided the assist to Chory Castro for the first goal in the 40th minute, as Real Sociedad was able to turn an adverse 0 – 2 score into a 3 – 2 victory. The 3rd goal came in the 91st minute courtesy of super sub Imanol Agirretxe. Agirretxe was substituted into the match in the 83rd minute, replacing Vela. Real Sociedad handed Barcelona it’s first defeat of the season.
This last week was also memorable for Vela, but not for his on field activity, but rather for his off field activity. On January 26th, Real Sociedad and Vela had a lackluster match against Celta De Vigo. A match which Celta dominated and should have won but had to settle for a draw.
Rather than getting media exposure for his play, Vela garnered widespread Mexican media attention for once again refusing an invitation to join the Mexican National Team for the next World Cup qualifying match against Jamaica on February 6th.
Vela cited personal reasons for declining the invitation and José “Chepo” de la Torre appeared to accept his reason, though “Chepo” did seem angry when he refused to discuss or elaborate on the topic during press conferences.
One can only wonder why Vela turned down the invitation. I am assuming that Vela must have been approached and vetted prior to the invitation being sent out. Did Vela have a change of heart between his discussion with FEMEXFUT and the invitation being sent? Is he trying to embarrass “Chepo”? Is he afraid that “Chepo” would make him ride the bench as punishment for refusing the previous invitations? Or, is he afraid that the Mexican fans would jeer him for refusing previous invitations?
Whatever the reason, I believe that Vela will now have an even more difficult time with “Chepo” and more importantly with the Mexican fans.
Giovani dos Santos, Mexican International and Mallorca Winger, has scored in the last two matches for the Islanders.
On Friday, January 18th, in the match against Espanyol, Gio scored against his fellow Mexican, Hector Moreno. And on Sunday, January 27th he scored on a free kick against Málaga. However, in both those instances, his goals were not enough to help Mallorca win.
Against Espanyol, Mallorca lost the match 3 – 2, after going into halftime with a 1 – 2 lead. Against Málaga, Mallorca was trailing throughout the whole match and despite Giovani’s and Málaga’s play, the match result was never really in question. Although Mallorca led the match in ball possession, corners, shots, and shots on goal, Málaga was much more efficient in converting their chances.
Gio did play much better against Málaga than against Espanyol and taking into account both matches together, you could see a definite improvement in his effort and play.
The question now is, will Joaquín Caparrós be around to see his marquee signing finally play to the level everyone was expecting? Mallorca sits in 19th place in the table and once again, the rumors are flying about Caparrós’ imminent departure. So much so, that management had to come out and declare the “dreaded” vote of confidence for Caparrós.
Leo Gutierrez, Contributor
Leo is a follower of La Liga, Liga MX, and MLS
During the day he maintains www.radiofuturamusic.com