Jose Villarreal(age: 20)GP: 32, G: 3, A: 3.
Michael Farfan(age: 25) GP: 82, G: 4, A: 9.
Rafael Baca(age: 24), GP: 79, G: 2, A: 9.
Cruz Azul sporting director Agustin Manzo told reporters that he is friends with Curt Onalfo, who played in Mexico, and the LA Galaxy assistant had told him about the players. MLS clubs did not confirm the moves for players all still under contract.
All three players are of Mexican descent and will not count as foreigners in the Liga MX. Villarreal -- who grew up a household that supported Cruz Azul -- and Farfan -- whose twin brother plays for Chivas USA -- were born and raised in Southern California. Baca was born in the state of Michoacan and grew up in Villarreal's hometown of Inglewood.
La Maquina finished fourth in the Torneo Apertura and lost to Toluca in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Following the fall campaign, Cruz Azul hired Luis Fernando Tena as head coach. Tena had coached Mexico Olympic team to the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and he had served as national team coach for Mexico's World Cup qualifier against the USA in September after José Manuel de la Torre was fired.
One of the players Cruz Azul signed for the Torneo Clausura is one of Tena's protege's Marco Fabian, from Guadalajara.
Presentación de los nuevos integrantes del equipo. pic.twitter.com/M7djGjqTcs— CRUZ AZUL FC™ (@Cruz_Azul_FC) December 21, 2013