Coach Lozano to focus on Liga MX in preparation for September friendlies

Jaime Lozano has three-and-a-half weeks to prepare for his first game since being named El Tri manager on a permanent basis. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Jaime Lozano has three-and-a-half weeks to prepare for his first game since being named El Tri manager on a permanent basis. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images) /
Team Mexico defender César Montes (seen here playing for Espanyol) is still not sure where he’ll be playing this season. El Tri coach Jimmy Lozano will be keen to see him find a good team as Montes is a sure-fire starter on Mexico’s back line. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /

“Jimmy” Lozano will be a busy man this weekend. Liga MX action resumes on Friday after a one-month break and Lozano will surely be scouting the games meticulously.

The new Team Mexico boss has less than four weeks to prepare for his next game – his first since being handed the job on a permanent basis.

El Tri faces Australia on Sept. 9 in Arlington, Texas, and three days later Uzbekistan and Mexico will clash in Atlanta.

Lozano is unlikely to summon players from Europe this early in the season, so the Liga MX games will be the source of the camp invitations he hands out at the end of this month.

Ferretti will not be joining Lozano staff

Reports that “Tuca” Ferretti had been invited to be an assistant coach with El Tri appear to have been mistaken.

Over the weekend, Jaime Lozano – Jimmy’s father – told reporters that the legendary Brazilian manager would be joining his son’s coaching staff. However, the more likely outcome is that “Tuca” will be hired by the Mexican Soccer Federation to be a member of its Council of Experts who are to be tasked with offering tactical and managerial advice to the new coach.

Lozano has said he would be willing to accept advice and direction from a board of wise men. A list released by the FMF includes former El Tri coach Javier Aguirre (coach of Mallorca), long-time Mexico captain Rafael Márquez (coach of Barcelona B), legendary Real Madrid skipper Fernando Hierro (now general manager with Chivas), former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol and Bernardo Cueva (a data analyst who has coached in Europe).

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A few members of El Tri currently playing in Europe still await their final destination for the 2023-24 season. The transfer market closes at the end of the month so there is still time though, for some, the longer the uncertainty drags on, the more nerve-wracking it will become.

After being relegated, Espanyol has been shopping defender César Montes who wants to play first division soccer in Europe.

Mallorca – and coach Aguirre – put in a bid last month but it was rejected as too low. Now it seems that Almería is in talks with Espanyol but no formal offer had been made. “El Cachorro” had been linked with a move to América but he has said he prefers to remain abroad.

Winger Jesús Corona missed most of last season with Sevilla after suffering a broken ankle and there have been reports that the Spanish club is listening to offers. The most popular rumor is that “Tecatito” could return to his old Liga MX club, Monterrey, but the player and his agent deny he’ll return to Mexico and Greece could be his next destination.

Speaking of Sevilla, winger Hirving Lozano has apparently attracted the club’s interest. Lozano has been told that he is surplus to needs at Napoli (unless he agrees to a pay cut). The Italian champions rejected a recent offer from MLS champs LAFC and Lozano turned aside the Serie A club’s latest contract offer.

El Tri’s top two right backs are also in the news. Julián Araujo was loaned out by Barcelona to minnows Las Palmas but the 22-year-old will have his work cut out for him.

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Jorge Sánchez did not have a good first year with Dutch giants Ajax and he is on the trade block. The latest indications are that he might have to settle for a return to Liga MX where Guadalajara has interest in signing him.