Liga MX clubs return to training despite rise in coronavirus cases

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Liga MX players returned to training in club facilities on Monday, three months after the last game in Mexico's first division and despite rising numbers of coronavirus cases in clubs and the country as a whole.

The return comes with the number of confirmed cases of the virus in Liga MX approaching 40 -- tests were carried out before players' returned to training -- although the Mexican government has stated that more positive cases shouldn't derail the July 24 start for the Apertura.

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Club America, Cruz Azul, Pumas, Leon, Necaxa, Atletico de San Luis, Tigres, Santos Laguna and Toluca all trained in small groups on Monday under the league's sanitary protocol, while Chivas is also scheduled to return.

Clubs will undergo preseasons ahead of the July 24 start date for the 2020 Apertura, with the games scheduled to be played behind closed doors until the government gives the green light for spectators to be allowed back. The 2020 Clausura season was canceled last month.

Liga MX had been adamant that the Clausura would be finished, but after a spate of positive tests at Santos Laguna the plan to play out the remaining seven rounds of games in the regular season and then the playoffs were abandoned in favor of starting afresh with the Apertura.

A new format for the playoffs was announced earlier this month, with the top four clubs in the regular season advancing to the quarterfinals, while fifth place down to 12th will play an elimination round of games to decide the other four quarterfinalists. The elimination round will be one game only, with the team highest in the table hosting and penalties to decide which team goes through in case of a draw after 90 minutes.

Liga MX also confirmed last week that Morelia has officially moved to Mazatlan under the same ownership and that Queretaro had been sold by Grupo Caliente to Gabriel Solares.

Club America announced Monday that it has extended head coach Miguel Herrera's contract at Las Aguilas until 2024, following his successful spell at the club since 2017.

TUDN also reported that Victor Manuel Vucetich could replace Gustavo Quinteros as Club Tijuana manager for the Apertura.