Corinthians on top, Galaxy reign
While the Argentinian and Chilean leagues took a break as the Brazil 2014 qualifying competition began, it was business as usual in Brazil, where Corinthians had a field day as they moved back into first. There was another change at the top in Mexico, while in the USA, Los Angeles Galaxy were confirmed as regular-season champions without even putting their boots on.
FIFA.com fills you in on these stories and more in its weekly Americas leagues round-up.
Brazil: Corinthians win as The Emperor returns
Corinthians had a weekend to remember as they maintained their fine recent form to return to the top of the Brasileirão table with a 3-0 defeat of Atletico-GO, a game that also marked Adriano’s debut for the club. O Imperador touched the ball twice only during his 12-minute appearance from the bench, but was nevertheless delighted to be back in action after nearly nine months out with an achilles heel injury. “I’m slowly getting back to full fitness,” said Adriano. “I’m not ready to play a full game yet, but it was nice to see that the fans believe in me.”
O Timão found themselves out in front for the first time in four weeks thanks to Vasco da Gama’s 3-0 reverse at the hands of Internacional. Flamengo enjoyed their Sunday too, Argentinian midfielder Dario Bottinelli scoring twice in the last five minutes to seal a dramatic 3-2 win against eternal rivals Fluminense. In the weekend’s other big derby, Santos edged Sao Paulo foes Palmeiras 1-0 courtesy of Borges’ 20th goal of the season.
MLS: Galaxy crowned without breaking sweat
In the more important of the two Major League Soccer games on the card, Seattle Sounders needed to beat Philadelphia Union at home to stay in contention for the Supporters Shield, the trophy awarded to the team topping the regular-season standings. Though fresh from winning the US Open Cup last week, the Sounders put in a lacklustre display, as goals from Freddy Adu and Brian Carroll helped the Union to a comfortable 2-0 victory.
Defeat for Seattle left Los Angeles Galaxy seven points clear with only two games remaining, sealing the California outfit’s second consecutive shield, while the Union’s win helped them take the lead in the Eastern Conference.
Mexico: Double joy for Tigres
Matchday 12 in the 2011 Apertura proved to be a profitable one for Tigres as they romped to a 4-1 win over Pumas UNAM, who were leaders at the start of the weekend. The result, sealed by four first-half goals, catapulted Tigres to the top of the league standings and plunged Pumas down to fifth. Sandwiched in between are Cruz Azul, who now lie second after beating Puebla 2-0, third-placed Santos Laguna, 3-1 winners at Queretaro, and Pachuca, who moved fourth by downing Jaguares 1-0 .
Though La Albirroja were in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying action, there were two games in the Clausura in Paraguay, where Libertad needed a last-minute Fredy Vera goal to see off Rubio Nu 2-1 and stay second, just a point adrift of leaders Nacional.
There was a full league programme in Uruguay, as Penarol and Cerro maintained their title duel. The Copa Libertadores runners-up were 2-1 winners over Fenix on Saturday, while Cerro won 3-2 at Defensor Sporting 24 hours later to stay within a point of the pacesetting Aurinegros.
Finally, there were a couple of leadership changes in Central America. Herediano hit the front in Costa Rica, beating Orion 1-0 to leapfrog Alajuelense, who fell by the same scoreline at home to Puntarenas. In Guatemala, meanwhile, Marquense had a day off but still moved top on goal difference following Suchitepequez’s 2-1 reverse at Heredia.