LIGA MX

Former MLS players, Yoshimar Yotún and Rafael Baca, win Liga MX title

Yotún and Baca helped Cruz Azul end their 24-year championship drought by defeating Santos Laguna in the final of the 2021 Guardianes tournament.

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Former MLS players, Yoshimar Yotún and Rafael Baca, win Liga MX title

Having been runners-up 11 times since their last title victory in 1997, Cruz Azul finally won the Liga MX title after beating Santos Laguna 2-1 on aggregate on Sunday in the 2021 Guardianes tournament final. The Azteca stadium witnessed the Mexico City-based team end their 24-year championship drought in the 15th Liga MX final held at the historic venue.

Former MLS players helped Cruz Azul end the drought

Cruz Azul coach Juan Reynoso included Yoshimar Yotún and Rafael Baca in the roster to face Santos Laguna in the two-legged final. Both players arrived to the team after a stints in Major League Soccer and both helped Cruz Azul end their championship drought.

Yoshimar Yotún spent one season in Major League Soccer (2017-2018) with Orlando City, where he scored 5 goals in 32 appearances. Arriving at Cruz Azul in 2019, Yotún entered the game in the 46th minute to make an immediate impact. The Peruvian midfielder set up the play for Jonathan Rodríguez who scored the goal that gave the ‘Machine’ the title.

Rafael Baca is a player that knows what it takes to win titles. The 31-year-old spent two seasons in Major League Soccer with San Jose Earthquakes and in 2012 he won the Supporters’ Shields. The Mexican international arrived at Cruz Azul in 2014 and after seven years at the club, he has finally won another title.

Baca started the game on Sunday against Santos Laguna and went the full 90 minutes. He has been a key player in the midfield for Cruz Azul boss Juan Reynoso throughout the tournament. The 31-year-old played all 17 games of the regular season and gave one assist.