Less than one year after guiding Toluca to the Liga MX Finals, Ignacio Ambriz is out of a job.
Diablos Rojos management pulled the trigger with “Los Choriceros” stuck in eighth place, their disappointing 4-6-3 record the primary cause of the decision.
Toluca was expected to contend for a top seed after finishing last season in fourth place with a 9-5-3 record, but a sputtering offense convinced management to make a change.
The Diablos Rojos boasted the league’s second-best offense last season, but the departure of forwards Carlos González and Camilo Sanvezzo has not been replaced on the scoresheet.
Failing to meet expectations
Ambriz – one of three finalists for the El Tri job this past summer – has been in charge in Toluca since the Clausura 2022 season.
The Diablos missed the playoffs that season, but made the Liga MX Finals the following campaign as a No. 6 seed, knocking out No. 1-seeded América in the semifinals. Expected to contend again in the Clausura 2023, the fourth-place finish and quick elimination in the quarterfinals was a letdown.
As for this season, since blowing out Pachuca 5-0 on Matchday 7, the Red Devils have gone 1-3-2, the slump punctuated with Saturday’s feeble 1-0 loss at León.
From Toluca to … ?
The 58-year-old Ambriz might not be unemployed for long. Shortly after his dismissal by Toluca was announced, reports emerged linking him to the Costa Rica national team.
If Ambriz prefers to remain in Mexico, Cruz Azul will soon be looking for a coach as Cementeros management let it leak that interim coach Joaquín Moreno is not long for the job.
As for Toluca, the club’s U-20 coach Carlos María Morales will take the reins of the senior team for the rest of the AP23.
Morales – his 77 goals with “Los Choriceros” is third on the all-time list – spent five years coaching in his native Uruguay (River Plate and Miramar Misiones) and one year in Chile before joining the Toluca academy staff.
The 53-year-old has limited managerial experience in Liga MX, serving four games as interim coach for San Luis back in 2013.