Santos Laguna to defend Liga MX title minus 3 key players

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Torreon (Mexico), July 17 (IANS) Mexican football club Santos Laguna will launch its Mexican league title defence next weekend, heading into the first week of Apertura tournament action with three key players gone from the squad that won the championship.

Santos Laguna defeated Toluca to win the Clausura tournament, relying on a roster that included Cape Verdean striker Djaniny Tavares, the league’s leading scorer, and defenders Carlos Izquierdoz and Nestor Araujo, reports Efe.

Tavares signed with a club in Saudi Arabia while Izquierdoz returned home to play for Argentine league club Boca Juniors. Araujo, a Mexican, signed with Spain’s Celta de Vigo.

Uruguayan manager Dante Siboldi will have to come up with some creative strategies to make up for the club’s losses on both offence and defence.

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Santos makes its Apertura tournament debut on Sunday against the Lobos BUAP, which was relegated to the Second Division but managed to retain a First-Division slot by paying the league a large fee.

–IANS

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