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Mexican Primera Division Kicks Off Today

The Mexican Primera Division kicks off on Friday with a match between UAG Estudiantes Tecos and Mexico City club Cruz Azul.  The league opener will be broadcast on Galavision at 8:00 pm CDT.  A full slate of games follows on Saturday and Sunday.  The Mexican Primera Division, founded in 1943,  consists of 18 teams divided into three groups  — Group 1 includes Estudiantes Tecos, Chivas de Guadalajara, Monterrey, Necaxa, Santos Laguna and UANL Tigres;  Group 2 features Club America, Atlante, Atlas, Pachuca, San Luis Potosi and Toluca, while Group 3 consists of Cruz Azul, Jaguares de Chiapas, Monaracas Morelia, Puebla, Queratero and Pumas UNAM. 

The season is divided into two tournaments, the apertura (opening) which runs from July to December and the clausura (closing) which begins in January and ends in May.  A new champion is crowned after each tournament, following La Liguilla, the eight team playoff that determines the winner.  Following the Clausura tournament, one team is demoted to Liga de Ascenso and one is promoted.  Nexaca was promoted for the 2010-2011 season, while Los Indios de Juarez were relegated.

Chivas de Guadalajara have won the most titles in Primera Division history, with eleven, while Club America and Toluca are tied for second with ten titles each.   Toluca is a favorite to repeat, having won last year’s Clausura tournament, although Club America, Cruz Azul and Monterrey are expected to have strong seasons.  Several Mexican stars have left the league during this summer’s transfer window.  Forward Javier”Chicharito” Hernadez has signed with Manchester United, while defender Efrain Juarez was inked by Celtic.  Omar Bravo, the second leading scorer in Chivas’ history, recently signed with the Kansas City Wizards. 

Several Americans play in the Primera Division.  Pachuca have three Americans, including Jose “Gringo” Torres and Herculez Gomez from the US Men’s National Team that competed in South Africa, and Marco Vidal.  Defender Edgar Castillo, who has one appearance for the USMNT, will play on loan for San Luis Potosi.  Sammy Ochoa makes his debut for Estudiantes Tecos and Sonny Guadarrama, after an impressive season in the Liga de Ascenso, was signed by Cancun club Atlante.  Jonathan Bornstein, the USMNT World Cup left back, recently signed with Tigres and will join the team following the end of his MLS season with Chivas USA.

A schedule of league games can be seen by clicking this link:  http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/mexico/fixtures

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