New Toluca signings Carlos Orrantia (left) and Miguel Ponce (second from right) were presented to the media on December 19, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Toluca)
TOLUCA, Mexico – Jesus Vallejo Gonzalez defined Toluca’s 2014 Clausura intentions, when he introduced new player additions Miguel Ponce and Carlos Orrantia at a press conference on Thursday.
"As is customary, I want to present to each the shirt, which implies that the commitment of the club is always to play a leading role and always be in a playoff, and why not make the objective in this tournament to be in the final and try to obtain the 11th title," said the club’s president.
The Red Devils came close to capturing the 2013 Apertura crown, falling in the semifinals narrowly to eventual runner-up Club America, 3-2 on aggregate. They also went a perfect 4-0-0 in CONCACAF Champions League group-stage play to secure a quarterfinal meeting next year against the San Jose Earthquakes.
By enhancing its roster with experienced youth, Toluca is positioned to contest the upcoming season on multiple fronts.
Ponce arrives from Guadalajara, where he played 95 games in the Mexican top flight since 2009. The left back also appeared in nine matches over two editions of the Copa Libertadores and took the field on three occasions during 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League.
Born in the United States, the 24-year-old was part of Mexico squads that won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament and was champion of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying competition.
He made his full international debut for Mexico at the 2011 Copa America, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 loss against Peru. Ponce netted once in two 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup outings.
Midfielder Orrantia leaves Pumas and brings extensive CONCACAF Champions League experience with him to the two-time confederation champion, having made 11 total appearances in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 tournaments.
Despite being only 22-years-old, he has already competed in 83 first-division games.
Toluca, which last lifted the domestic trophy in 2010, will open the Clausura with a visit to Pachuca on January 4.