Pumas' Dario Veron (left) celebrates after scoring against visiting Pachuca in a Liga MX Clausura match on February 5, 2017, in Mexico City. (Photo: Dos Ocho/Straffon Images)
MEXICO CITY – Defender Dario Veron is crediting internal competition -- spurred on by an infusion of talented youth – for Pumas’ fast start to the 2017 Liga MX Clausura campaign.
UNAM currently sits third in the 2017 Liga MX Clausura standings on goal difference below Toluca, posting a 3W-1D-1L record after five games.
“I value [the internal competition] a lot because thanks to that we are playing a lot better,” said the 37-year-old Veron in a press conference on Wednesday. “All those who play for Pumas are good footballers.”
Newly-acquired forward Nicolas Castillo leads the side in scoring with two goals, but winger Jesus Gallardo (5 games/1 goal), midfielder Bryan Rabello (5/1) and defender Alan Mendoza (5/1) are excelling during this productive stretch.
Chile international Rabello (22-years-old) and Mendoza (23) have played every minute of the current campaign, while Gallardo (22) has been on the field for all but eight minutes.
Another youngster, midfielder Kevin Escamilla (22), has seen action in four games.
Veron, who has appeared in more than 450 games for Pumas since joining the club in 2003, is fully cognizant of his responsibilities to the club and to the players trying to climb the competitive ladder.
“The experienced players like myself, we should play 100%, not 99%, because we have to help the young academy players that have the chance to play and do it well,” he concluded.