Herrera had a monstrous season with FC Porto (Mexsport)
The 2014/15 season saw some ups and downs for the Mexicans abroad. From some players having major breakthroughs to players seeing most of the time off the pitch. Nevertheless, here are the ratings for the Mexicans in Europe…
Chicharito, Real Madrid: B
It was a major plus for Chicharito to get out of Manchester United when he joined Real Madrid. He was signing with one of the biggest clubs in Europe, so getting a starting spot was going to be difficult. He was able to score a few goals early on in the season, but when you play on a huge club, it’s hard to find time. But, with what could have been a D+ rating type of season, Chicharito turned it around when he was given the opportunity. He had a tremendous April/May with Real Madrid, from sending Real Madrid to the semifinal of the Champions League with a game winning goal, to having an assist or goal in almost every game he played. Chicharito looked at top form at the end of the season, which will definitely bode well for him moving forward and with El Tri this summer.
Raúl Jiménez, Atlético Madrid: C-
Raúl’s signing with Atlético Madrid was a major headline for Mexicans abroad. He was a young talent with Club América, and the jump would be a big one for the striker. Unfortunately, Jiménez was given sporadic minutes and only scored once this season. He had a bit of a burst late in the season when he assisted his teammates in a couple of games, but when he was left of the roster several times when it mattered. It was apparent that his season wasn’t looking as opportunistic as expected.
Hector Herrera, FC Porto: A
Hector’s year with FC Porto was one of the best, if not the best for Mexicans abroad. He helped them in major matches, became an absolute starter and even got attention with his stylish play in the Champions League. Hector may stay with FC Porto, but if he doesn’t, it’s because he will be going to great places.
Tecatito Corona, FC Twente: B+
The 22 year-old became one of FC Twente’s best player in just a few months. He finished the season with 9 goals, 4 assists on a team that was…not that strong. He has received major recognition for his great play, as WhoScored.Com has placed him on the Eredivisie Best XI of the season.
Giovani dos Santos, Villarreal: C+
This was a major rollercoaster year for Gio at Villarreal. Battling injuries became the norm for Mexico’s #10. He did have some moments of brilliance, especially in the Europa League, in which he had 3 goals, 2 assists with the club. However, a nagging muscle injury put Giovani out on the sidelines for a large portion of this season.
Guillermo Ochoa, Malaga: F
This has to be one of the most disappointing ratings for Mexicans abroad. Memo Ochoa went from a phenom at the 2014 World Cup, to a keeper who rarely saw the pitch at his new club. The part which hurts the most for Memo is that the keeper ahead of him, Carlos Kameni, had some unbearably poor performances. For a guy that had the world giving him praise, Memo needs to go to a club that will put him on the pitch immediately.
Andres Guardado, PSV: A-
Andres joined PSV and quickly became a fan favorite. He had big role in their Eredivisie title and was voted as MVP of the league. He didn’t have a lot of stats, but if anyone watched his games with PSV, you could spot him all over the pitch contributing in any way possible. I think we will see a lot of happy moments for Guardado with PSV for some time to come.
Diego Reyes, FC Porto: D+
This is another hard rating because of the fact that he saw strange playing time. When he did play for Porto in the league, he seemed to do quite well, but it wasn’t often. That’s why giving him a sub-C rating hurts, because it wasn’t as if he was stinking up the pitch. There was controversy over Reyes when he was taken off the pitch before half against Bayern Munich, but it wasn’t as if the goals scored against Port were his fault. It was a tactical change to become more offensive, and it actually didn’t do too much. Hopefully, Diego recovers some composure with Mexico this summer and returns for next season on a high note.
Jonathan dos Santos, Villarreal: B+
Jonathan quickly became a favorite at Villarreal. The midfielder joined his brother Giovani and has reached a great level of play in La Liga this year. As long as he continues at the level he has with Villarreal, he will be an automatic starter with club and country. Jonathan even scored 3 goals this season, including one against his former club Barcelona.
Carlos Vela, Real Sociedad: B-
Carlos had a solid season with Real Sociedad, who were recovering from the loss of Antoine Griezmann to Atlético Madrid. Carlos V had some top performances, as he scored in victories against Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid, and helped Real Sociedad beat Barcelona. However, his season took a hit as he was out for 8+ weeks with a knee surgery, yet still returned and managed to finish the season with 10 goals.
Miguel Layún, Watford FC: C+
It was an interesting move for Layún. He went to a much more physical league and got a new experience in the world of football. He had some very good matches and some mediocre ones, but overall he had a decent stay at Watford. It’s nice to see that he was part of the team that was promoted to the Premier League.
Hector Moreno, Espanyol: B-
Somewhat of a bland rating, but Hector returned from a leg fracture at the World Cup and played a fairly decent season at Espanyol. He returned to his starting spot and did his job. Not too much else to comment on. Will be nice to see him return with Mexico this summer at the Gold Cup.
Rafa Márquez, Hellas Verona: C
At 36, the fact Rafa is still starting in Europe is pretty impressive. He’s had a decent stint at Verona, but of course, he also had some up and down matches as well. Similar to Carlos V, Rafa had a knee injury to sidelined him for two months. However, he returned to have a few strong matches.
Javier Aquino, Rayo Vallecano: D-
To be fully honest, it was hard to not give Aquino an F on this season. He had some atrocious matches with Rayo, and doesn’t have anything on the stat sheet that catches the eye. He played 24 matches with Rayo and tallied 2 assists. With a season like this, I wouldn’t be surprised if Aquino returns to Mexico.
Ulises Dávila, Vitoria de Setubal: C-
Hard to rate Ulises this season with Setubal in the Portuguese league. He was given mixed minutes and didnt’ have any impressive stats. May need another season to get a good read on him, but I don’t see him getting any looks at the national team any time soon.
Alan Pulido, Levadiakos: C
Hard to give him a full rating, as he only played 6 games. However, he did score and received “man of the match” in his first appearance.