Clausura 2022: Two title-winning coaches return to Liga MX

Ignacio Ambriz has returned to Liga MX after a brief spell in Spain. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
Ignacio Ambriz has returned to Liga MX after a brief spell in Spain. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /
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Liga MX coaches 2022
Guillermo Almada (left) and Hernán Cristante (right) were fired a day apart in late November, but Almada landed back on his feet, signing with Pachuca a week later. (Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images) /

Trading in one Liga MX team for another

Guillermo Almada arrived to Liga MX in 2019 after a successful run at Ecuador’s Barcelona SC. In his first season in Torreón, he led the Guerreros to the top seed but Santos lost in the first round of the playoffs. The next two seasons offered mixed results, but Almada proved very effective at developing players from the club academy system.

During the Guardianes 2021 season, Almada cultivated four home-grown youngsters – goalie Carlos Acevedo, fullback Omar Campos and forwards Eduardo Aguirre and Santi Muñoz – while leading Santos to the Finals where they lost to No. 1 seed Cruz Azul.

This past season, Almada’s peevish histrionics seemed to rub players the wrong way and the cantankerous coach began to run afoul of the front office. A fifth-place finish (only 5 wins in 17 matches) was followed by elimination in the quarterfinals and ownership fired the 52-year-old a day later.

Pachuca didn’t wait long to corral the Uruguayan, signing Almada to a 1-year contract that rolls over for two more if certain objectives are met. The Tuzos had to act quickly since Almada was in demand (he declined an opportunity to interview for the Uruguay national team job while still with Santos).

With his reputation for developing youngsters, Almada is eager to get started with the Tuzos, an organization with well-deserved pride in its academy system. The current Pachuca roster is among the youngest in Liga MX – 26.6 years on average – and features promising young stars such as Roberto de la Rosa, Erick Sánchez and Kevin Álvarez.

dark. Next. Liga MX Transfer Talk

The Final Word: With the return of “Nacho” Ambriz, there are now four Mexican coaches in Liga MX – Ambriz, Miguel Herrera (Tigres), Javier Aguirre (Monterrey), Macelo Michel Leaño (Chivas). The nationalities of the other 14 coaches are as follows: Argentine – 7; Uruguayan – 3; Brazilian – 1, Peruvian – 1; Portuguese – 1, Spaniard – 1.