‘El Turco’ arrives on campus
No worries. “El Turco” visited the team’s training ground and he’s ready to kick-start the club’s climb back to relevance.
You have to scan all the way down toward the bottom of the Liga MX table to find the Pumas. “Los felinos” have sunk to 17th place (11 points) but are only 2 points out of a wildcard spot despite a 3-2-8 record.
In Mohamed’s absence, Raúl Alpízar – UNAM’s youth academy director – took charge of the Pumas against Querétaro, agonizing animatedly over missed opportunities (and there were many). The Gallos Blancos – last in the 2022-23 Relegation Standings – nabbed a late goal to earn their second win of the season.
Mohamed will debut at home Sunday against 11th-place Atlético de San Luis (13 points). Anything less than a win at the CU could be a knockout blow for the Pumas because their final three games of the Clausura 2023 are against the first-, third- and fourth-place teams.
A primary task for “El Turco” will be to redesign the offense – “los felinos” have not beaten the opponent’s goalie in 271 minutes and have been shut out in three straight.
Liga MX coaching carousel spins yet again
After a four-game unbeaten streak in February, FC Juárez was not just chasing a playoff spot but were contending for home field advantage in the Wildcard Round.
The Bravos made the postseason for the first time in franchise history last season, so a higher seed suddenly did not seem so far-fetched.
But FC Juárez has forgotten how to win and now Hernán Cristante is no longer the coach.
The Border Braves went winless in March, riding a 0-2-3 streak down the standings and out of the playoff spots. Friday’s 2-0 home loss to Puebla was the final straw and Cristante was handed a pink slip on Monday.
Club officials have not identified a successor yet and on Tuesday will announce who will be on the OBJ Stadium sidelines Sunday against Atlas.
While Chivas woo Acevedo, ‘Wacho’ rocks
Last week, Mexican sports media was awash with reports that Guadalajara – the only Liga MX team that is 100% Mexican – was going all in to acquire Carlos Acevedo, the Santos Laguna goalie that has become an El Tri fan favorite.
Acevedo, 26, is seen by many has the heir apparent to Guillermo Ochoa and pulling the acrobatic netminder into the “Rebaño Sagrado” could be a win-win for team and player.
The Chivas would benefit financially and professionally from a high-profile player in a key position while Acevedo would get much greater exposure as the face of “Mexico’s Most Popular Team” than he currently enjoys in the high desert of Coahuila.
However, the way Manuel “Wacho” Jiménez has been playing, the Chivas might be better served spending their money on a striker.
Jiménez turned in a sparkling 8-save performance against Atlas Saturday night and is fifth in Liga MX in save percentage (76.4% as compared to Acevedo’s 73.5%).
The 33-year-old Jiménez has paid his dues, biding his time on the Guadalajara bench until getting his first real starting shot last season during which “Wacho” conceded just 18 goals in 18 matches. Only three goalies allowed fewer and Acevedo (27 goals allowed in 19 games) was not one of them.
Early front-runner for Liga MX MVP
Henry Martín scored América’s second Saturday night, extending his lead atop the Liga MX Golden Boot standings to 4 goals. “La Bomba” now has 12 goals on the season. Monterrey’s Rogelio Funes Mori follows with 8 goals.
Henry is also second in the league with 4 assists, trailing only Puebla’s Federico Mancuello who has 5 helpers.
With upcoming games against league-leading Monterrey and both crosstown rivals (Cruz Azul and UNAM), the in-form Martín has a great chance to cement himself as odds-on Liga MX MVP.