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Leon downs America, crowned La Liga MX champs

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It was no contest on the grounds of the Azteca stadium where Leon FC was crowned La Liga MX champions after defeating Club America 3-1 in the return leg of the Apertura 2013 championship. For Club America coach Miguel “Piojo” Herrera, it concludes his time as coach of the Mexico City-based squad as he moves on to coach the Mexican national team.

While the results show a 5-1 aggregate, America never broke the net against goalkeeper William Yarbrough. The 24 year-old keeper was key in the two-way series. He kept his sheet clean at the Nou Camp and received an own-goal in the first half that gave the America faithful hopes of that 12th title. Yarbrough intervened on more than one occasion against an America team that pushed forward with no luck.

“Let’s recognize the team, the team is the player of the game,” Yarbrough said after the game. “There was no better way to close the game than with a gold brush. The team earned it.”

Leading the team on defense was the legendary Rafael Marquez. “El Kaiser of Michoacán” won his first Mexican league title. Marquez is one of Mexico’s most honored player having won titles in both North America and Europe. He won the French Ligue 1 with AC Monaco, four La Liga titles with FC Barcelona as well as two UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Clubs World Cup with the culés. He won a regular season title in 2010 with MLS side New York Rd Bulls. Now Marquez has won a Mexican league title.

“Very happy right now. I’ve worked hard to reach this, it’s great,” Marquez said. “Many people thought I was done, that I was ready to retire, but today I’ve proven otherwise with Club Leon.”

Marquez was not only Leon’s team captain, but is the team captain for the Mexican national team. He is on the verge of playing in his fourth FIFA Club World Cup if he is selected to join the squad when they travel to Brazil 2014 next June.

Leon has won their 6th league title in the professional era. The “esmeraldas” were a powerhouse between 1947 and 1956 winning four titles in that time frame. Their last title came in the 1991-92 season. They descended to the Ascenso MX league where they spent 10 years before returning during the Apertura 2012. In their third tournament since their return they are league champions and main contributor to the Mexican national team.

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