CANCÚN - This year's Liga MX Draft witnessed a number of high-profile players from past and future CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) participants teams change jerseys.
Javier Orozco won't have an opportunity to add to his CCL-best 24 goals this season, when he left Cruz Azul to join Santos. The 25-year-old spent his entire career with La Maquina - which qualified for next season's CCL by virtue of its 2013 Liga MX Clausura runner-up finish - and had played in three editions of the confederation's premier club tournament. He was the top scorer in 2008-09 (6 goals) and 2010-11 (11 goals, also a record for most goals in a CCL season). On August 25, 2010, the striker became the second player in tournament history to score four goals in a single match, propelling Cruz Azul to a 5-4 over Real Salt Lake.
Leaving Santos to make room for Orozco is United States international Herculez Gomez, who moved on to Club Tijuana. This switch will give the 31-year-old forward an opportunity to perform in a third straight CCL - a tournament in which he has netted nine times. The former LA Galaxy player joins countrymen Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, Alejandro Guido, Bruno Piceno and Greg Garza at the Estadio Caliente.
Aarón Galindo will call the Estadio Nemesio Díez home, becoming the newest member of Toluca. The defender departs busy Santos and brings valuable continental experience to the Red Devils. Toluca will play in the CCL for the first time since 2010-11, when it advanced to the quarterfinals, before falling to eventual-champion Monterrey 2-0 on aggregate.
One player exiting Toluca is forward Luis Tejada. The Panamanian international, Most Valuable Player of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, will move on loan to newly-promoted Veracruz.
The big news of the draft came down Wednesday night with the transfer of Aldo De Nigris to Guadalajara. The striker enjoyed a stunning stint with Monterrey, where he won three consecutive CCL titles, capturing the 2012-13 Golden Ball. He scored Mexico's only goal in its 1-0 World Cup Qualifying win over host Jamaica on Tuesday.
Midfielder Walter Ayovi, a key performer in Monterrey's historical CCL campaigns, is now on the Pachuca roster.