Matias Alustiza (pictured) was acquired by 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League participant Pachuca from Puebla on June 4, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
CANCUN, Mexico – Wednesday’s Liga MX Draft proved to be productive for 2014 Clausura runner-up Pachuca, which made several roster-strengthening transactions ahead of its attempt to win the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) for the first time since 2010.
Forward Matias Alustiza and goalkeeper Jorge Villalpando were brought in from Puebla, midfielder Rodrigo Salinas was added from Morelia, striker Aviles Hurtado returned to the club after a year on loan at Chiapas and the loan of Tigres’ Hugo Rodriguez was extended to keep him with the Tuzos for a further six months.
The addition of Alustiza, 30, is potentially intriguing. While on the roster at Ecuador’s Deportivo Quito, he and Brazil international Neymar were joint-top scorer in the 2012 Copa Libertadores with eight goals each. After that successful campaign, the Argentine was transferred to Puebla, where he netted 18 goals in 63 Liga MX games.
His addition to a forward line that includes Ecuador international Enner Valencia, who struck for 18 goals in 23 games during Pachuca’s run to the 2014 Clausura final, is expected to increase the unit’s depth and offer another attacking option.
Squad member leaving the Tuzos so far include, Rodolfo Cota (Puebla), Efrain Cortes (Puebla), Freddy Pajoy (Puebla) and Enrique Esqueda (Atlas).
Jose Wenceslao Diaz, who was on loan and won promotion this with Leones Negros de la Universidad de Guadalajara this past season, was transferred to Guadalajara.
At last week’s 2014/15 CCL draw, it was determined that Pachuca’s bid for a fifth CONCACAF club title will start in Group 1 against Honduras’ Real España and Municipal of Guatemala.