Mexican-American GK William Yarbrough leads León to win over Club América & Liga MX title
Club León are the campeones of Mexico thanks in large part to a big, blond goalkeeper with roots in Texas and a US passport to his name.
William Yarbrough, who was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, after his parents emigrated from Texas in the 1980s, turned in a tremendous performance on Sunday night in the second leg of the Liga MX Apertura final against Club América, as León won the match, 3-1, and the series, 5-1 on aggregate.
Yarbrough, 24, has not represented either Mexico or the US at any level; however, he was on the roster for Mexico's U-23 team at the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament.
On Sunday, he needed to be sharp. He faced 11 shots on goal from a desparate América side urged on by their fans at Estadio Azteca. But only one got through, and León's attack got the job done at the other end, with Mauro Boselli, Nacho González, and Edwin Hernández notching a goal each.
The victory is León's sixth domestic championship and their first since 1992.
The championship also marks a remarkable turn of fortunes for former New York Red Bulls midfielder and current León captain Rafa Márquez. The longtime Barcelona star struggled during his stint in MLS and wore out his welcome at Red Bull Arena after just two seasons. But since joining León at the start of 2013, he has rediscovered his form, has earned a recall to the Mexican national team, and now has won the Mexican title for the first time in his career.