‘New’ coaches Romano, Herrera in Matchday 6 spotlight

Miguel Herrera will soon be prowling the Liga MX sidelines for Tijuana after agreeing to take the Xolos job on Friday. (OSCAR WONG/AFP via Getty Images)
Miguel Herrera will soon be prowling the Liga MX sidelines for Tijuana after agreeing to take the Xolos job on Friday. (OSCAR WONG/AFP via Getty Images) /
Liga MX new coaches
Rubén Omar Romano appears to be wondering why he agreed to return to Liga MX. His new team, Mazatlán FC lost at Puebla Friday night to remain in the league cellar. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /

Matchday 6 kicked off on Thursday but Liga MX activity has taken a back seat to the chatter surrounding the selection of Diego Cocca as El Tri manager.

We’ll take a closer look at all the scuttlebutt after the weekend’s games, but for now let’s redirect the spotlight onto the league highlights after Thursday’s and Friday’s doubleheaders.

On Thursday, Monterrey moved provisionally atop the Liga MX table with a 2-0 win at Atlas while León routed Querétaro 3-0.

Last night’s twin bill was more notable for off-the-field reasons than results. Rubén Omar Romano returned to a Liga MX sideline for the first time in nearly five years (as manager of Mazatlán FC), while Miguel Herrera watched Tijuana play from the stands just hours after being named Xolos coach.

Cañoneros lack firepower

The 64-year-old Romano last roamed a Liga MX touchline back in March 2018 (his Atlas team lost to Veracruz on that occasion) and his reappearance promises to be anything but pleasant.

Mazatlán FC is in the cellar and will remain there after Friday’s 3-1 loss at Puebla. With four starters and a top sub sidelined by injury, the Cañoneros and their league-worst defense figured to struggle. And they did, conceding three first-half goals.

Of course, the sub-par officiating didn’t help. Puebla’s second goal came after a non-existent foul. Puebla should have been called for a hand ball but were awarded a free kick which an unmarked Guillermo Martínez banged into the net from point-blank range.

In only his eighth Liga MX contest as ref (dating back to the Apertura 2001 season), Edgar Allan Morales did not have a good game. He not only erred on the free kick, he also overlooked a few first-half fouls by the home team and occasionally blew his whistle when he should have allowed play to continue.

Most likely, Liga MX administrators figured a game involving the 15th- and 18th-place teams would be a good chance for Morales to get some experience. And the fact that the worst team in the league was victimized is probably considered easy to shrug off.

Welcome back to Liga MX, Sr. Romano.

‘Louse’ in the house

Tijuana was gifted an own-goal in minute 90+3 to scrape past Atlético de San Luis who played with 10 man from minute 6 on after Juan Martínez was shown a red card.

The 1-0 win was only the second for the Xolos who climbed from 14th to 11th pending the rest of the weekend’s results. The Tuneros remain in 7th but could sink as low as 10th depending on what happens Saturday and Sunday.

Observing from the stands was “El Piojo” Herrera who will take charge of the Xolos beginning next week. Cirilo Saucedo served as interim coach for Tijuana after Ricardo Valiño was fired last Sunday.

Elsewhere around Liga MX

Saturday features a tantalizing quadrupuple-header. América visits Necaxa in the opener before Tigres host UNAM at the same time (7 pm) Santos takes on FC Juárez at the border. Holders Pachuca welcomes the Chivas to Estadio Hidalgo in the nightcap.

Next. Rudderless Cementeros fracturing at the seams. dark

The Tigres-Pumas match figures to be raucous because the always rowdy Tigres fans are expected to be in full throat to support Marco Antonio Ruiz, the coach who has been tabbed to replace the suddenly reviled Diego Cocca.