Cruz Azul crisis deepens as eyes turn toward next season already

Ignacio Rivero laments a missed opportunity, a common occurrence for Cruz Azul during this lost season. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Ignacio Rivero laments a missed opportunity, a common occurrence for Cruz Azul during this lost season. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
Sad-sack Cruz Azul
Cruz Azul manager Joaquín Moreno (right) walks off the Estadio Azteca pitch after his team’s 4-1 loss to visiting UNAM. (Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

There’s no truth to the rumor that Cruz Azul has been asked to rescind its membership in the fabled Big 4 even as the sad-sack Cementeros languish in 17th place.

With just one Liga MX title in the past 25+ years, a front office in a shambles and a poorly constructed roster, Cruz Azul can hardly be considered an elite franchise.

To be fair, América is the lone representative of the mythical Big 4 that could stake a claim to such a sobriquet.

In the past 20 Liga MX seasons, the Aguilas have three titles from six Finals appearances, while the other three members of the Fantastic Four – Cruz Azul, UNAM and Guadalajara – have a collective two titles among them since 2013.

The Cruz Azul Blues, Part Infinity

Since winning their ninth Liga MX championship six seasons ago, “La Máquina Azul” has been stripped of parts and driven off a cliff by inept front office pilots.

Víctor Velázquez rashly fired Ricardo Ferretti – the winningest manager in Liga MX history – just three games into his first season after “Tuca” expressed displeasure at the club’s failure to sign any of the players on his wish list.

Interim coach Joaquín Moreno was never the answer yet the Cruz Azul bosses immediately declared “El Ingeniero” would hold the reins for the rest of the Apertura 2023.

Moreno has only added to the dysfunction and the Cementeros now sit in the cellar alongside Necaxa with 11 points from 13 games. “The Blue Machine” is 3-2-8 and has allowed a league-worst 26 goals, the only Liga MX team to concede a goal in each and every game.

The front office is already planning for next season … and that’s not a reassuring thought when looking at its recent track record with regard to personnel moves.

After Velázquez confirmed that the club will be moving on from Moreno, reports quickly surfaced that two-time Liga MX champion manager Diego Cocca was in talks with the Cementeros. Not a bad choice, right? Except that was only a rumor and Cruz Azul had not been in touch with Cocca or his agent.

Instead, Cocca was said to be among the candidates Velázquez & Co were considering though he was not necessarily seen as the favorite. Maybe Ignacio Ambrizrecently canned by Toluca – will be on the short list.

We may not know for a while, so Cementeros Nation is best advised not to hold its breath. Then again, the long-suffering fans of “La Máquina” are quite familiar with disappointment.

Elsewhere in Liga MX

América arrived in Monterrey for Saturday’s big showdown match against the Rayados without leading scorer Julián Quiñones. The Aguilas forward was left in Mexico City after fitness complications emerged during Thursday training.

Mazatlán FC waltzed past Querétaro 3-0 Friday night in its first home game since its stadium was renamed “El Encanto.” Cañoneros owner Ricardo Salinas Pliego said the official name change (“Good bye El Kraken”) is part of his organizational makeover.

Next. Liga MX coaching carousel claims another victim. dark

UNAM squandered a great chance to solidify its playoff chances, losing 1-0 on the road to last-place Necaxa. The Pumas were behind the eight-ball early as leading scorer César Huerta was ejected in minute 10.