Keeping up with the coaching carousel: Siboldi out; two old-timers return

Tigres sack their manager in stunning move; Vucetich, de la Torre back in Liga MX
José Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre greets Víctor Manuel Vucetich before a Liga MX game back in 2020. The two veteran coaches will be back in charge of new clubs in the upcoming Apertura 2024 season.
José Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre greets Víctor Manuel Vucetich before a Liga MX game back in 2020. The two veteran coaches will be back in charge of new clubs in the upcoming Apertura 2024 season. / Jam Media/GettyImages

Rarely is there a dull moment where the Liga MX coaching carousel is concerned. And this is the off-season!

Since the Clausura 2024 regular season ended on April 28, we’ve learned that two coaches with a combined eight Liga MX championships will be returning to the sidelines next season.

Then this week, Liga MX observers were stunned to see that Robert Siboldi – winner of two league titles – was out at Tigres, but even more shocking were the scandalous rumors about what prompted his departure.

Hidden behind the big headlines of the three announcements mentioned above was the fascinating news that the lowly Xolos of Tijuana replaced one former El Tri manager with another ex-Team Mexico boss.

What’s going on in Tigres camp?

On Monday, coach Siboldi was at team HQ preparing for the start of training camp this week as Tigres management schemed to bolster the team’s star-studded roster.

Less than 24 hours later, Siboldi was out on his can just a year after guiding “los felinos” to the franchise’s eighth league title. 

What happened? A month ago, we’d been told that the Uruguayan manager had agreed to a two-year extension and the club was preparing to chase another Liga MX trophy.

A terse press bulletin announced that the contract offer had been rescinded and the club had decided to go in a different direction, but no explanation was offered.

Shortly thereafter, social media exploded with all kinds of fanciful accusations, the most scandalous being that management was in possession of evidence that Siboldi had sold his game plan to crosstown rivals Monterrey during their semifinal series, a series the lower-seeded Rayados won 3-2.

Monterrey denied the accusation and swore to cooperate with any investigation.

Another bit of gossip circulating was that the coach had developed an inappropriate relationship with Tatiana Flores, a player on the Tigres Femenil squad and the younger sister of Tigres winger Marcelo Flores. But that was quickly dismissed as fake news.

A day later, Siboldi went to social media to say good-bye to Tigres Nation, but did not address the scandal. 

So while “los felinos” recruit their next coach, we’ll keep our eyes open for an explanation about Siboldi’s exit.

Liga MX old-timers return

We reported last month that legendary coach Víctor Manuel Vucetich, 68, was hired by lowly Mazatlán FC, tasked with lifting the Cañoneros out of the Liga MX basement.

Since then, we’ve learned that management has asked him to produce 50 points over the next two seasons so as to avoid yet another hefty “relegation penalty.” 

That won’t be easy. In the last four years, Mazatlán has earned 38, 24, 41 and 37 points.

Vucetich earned his nickname “King Midas” for turning lousy teams into contenders while guiding four different teams to Liga MX glory (he led Monterrey to two championships).

Let's see if the notoriously stingy Cañoneros management provides him with the resources to make a run at 50.

Over in Puebla, José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre is busy looking for his whistle as the Camoteros’ training camp gets under way.

“Chepo,” 58, last coached in Liga MX in September 2020 but he is 14 years removed from his last championship. The former El Tri manager led Guadalajara to the Apertura 2006 title, then guided Toluca to playoff victory in the Apertura 2008 and the Clausura 2010.

The former Chivas, Puebla and Necaxa star (he earned Liga MX winners medals with each of those franchises) will have his work cut out for him at Puebla. “La Franja” finished dead last a season ago, posting a dreadful 1-2-14 record with a —25 goal differential.

Even worse, Camoteros ownership has docked player wages for April and May, informing the squad that they will be reimbursed when the team meets certain benchmarks in the upcoming season.

As such, “Chepo” might be dealing with a disgruntled work force as he wrestles to turn around Puebla’s fortunes.

‘El Profe’ Osorio back in Mexico

Juan Carlos Osorio coached El Tri to the 2018 World Cup but his “Ratoncitos Verdes” came scurrying back home after being dismissed in the Round of 16.

More was expected of his team and the Colombian manager and his professorial style were mercilessly derided by critics even as the Mexican Soccer Confederation toyed with the idea of keeping him on as coach.

Instead, the 62-year-old coach bounced around from Paraguay to Colombia and Egypt before landing in Brazil in January. Unfortunately, his tour with Athletico Paranaense lasted just two months despite only 1 loss in 11 matches.

Osorio will now take over an underachieving Tijuana side that finished in last place in the “Relegation Standings,” a result that cost the club 80 million pesos, the third straight year the Xolos were hit with a financial penalty for poor results.


No doubt, management will want to avoid another big payout, so Osorio must hit the ground running and hope his cerebral approach can inspire a turnaround in Tijuana.