Legendary Liga MX manager out of a job
Cruz Azul’s stumbling start to the Liga MX season has cost “Tuca” Ferretti his job.
This marks the first time in 30 years as a coach that the seven-time Liga MX champion has been fired, and you can chalk this up to the ineptitude of the Cementeros front office.
“La Máquina Azul” is off to a 0-0-3 start in Liga MX play and the club suffered elimination in the Round of 32 of the Leagues Cup after failing to win a single match.
Cruz Azul lost its Leagues Cup opener thanks to a brilliant Lionel Messi free kick (after an invisible foul), then earned a spot in the knockout round by winning a penalty-kick shootout against Atlanta United following a 1-1 draw.
In the Round of 32, the Cementeros battle Charlotte FC to a 0-0 draw but came up short in the shootout thanks to spot kick efforts like this one below from Uriel Antuna:
“Tuca” took the Cruz Azul job midway through the Clausura 2023 when the Cementeros were near the bottom of the table. The famously crotchety coach turned the team’s fortunes around and helped “La Máquina” reach the Liga MX playoffs only to lose at home in the wildcard round.
Ahead of the current season, “Tuca” identified positions that needed fortifying and submitted a wish list to the front office. Unfortunately, for the 69-year-old coach – and much in keeping with the club’s dysfunctional operations – his suggestions were ignored.
Cruz Azul kicked off the Liga MX campaign with an incomplete roster that featured no reliable forwards. It didn’t help that three starters were away on national team duty.
“Tuca” groused about the front office failures as he watched his patchwork line-ups stumble around the field, generating a single goal (and conceding six) while losing its first three games.
While team executives continue to search for additional playmakers (Willian José of Real Betis is the latest rumor), club president Víctor Velázquez (the man most responsible for the front office disarray) decided enough was enough and he handed “Tuca” a pink slip.
Velázquez announced that Joaquín Moreno will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.
Elsewhere around Liga MX
América and Team Mexico defender Néstor Araujo is on the verge of returning to Europe after just one year back in Liga MX.
Araujo, 31, spent four years in LaLiga with Celta de Vigo before signing with the Aguilas in June of last year. Prior to that, the Guadalajara native had made a name for himself playing for Cruz Azul and Santos Laguna (where he won 2016-2017 Defender of the Year honors and helped the Guerreros win the Clausura 2018 title).
Araujo also won a gold medal with Team Mexico at the 2012 London Olympics.