Clausura 2024 Notebook: Odds and ends on the coaching front

Only four managers sent to unemployment line during the season, a fifth was axed afterward
Tigres coach Robert Siboldi (left) greets Cruz Azul coach Martín Anselmi before their Liga MX contest on Feb. 17. The Cementeros defeated the Tigres 1-0.
Tigres coach Robert Siboldi (left) greets Cruz Azul coach Martín Anselmi before their Liga MX contest on Feb. 17. The Cementeros defeated the Tigres 1-0. / Hector Vivas/GettyImages

The Liga MX coaching carousel did not spin as rapidly during the Clausura 2024 as it has in recent seasons. 

Only four teams fired their managers during the 17-game season – FC Juárez, Santos Laguna, Puebla and Mazatlán FC – while Tijuana said goodbye to former El Tri boss Miguel Herrera a few days after a 16th-place finish. (“El Piojo” has already been linked to an MLS job.)

Then came word that UNAM was considering parting ways with rookie coach Gustavo Lema after the club’s rocky performance in the Liga MX quarterfinals, but it appears management has made an about face after vocal support from the players.

Lema had been Antonio Mohamed’s top assistant the previous two seasons but when Mohamed abruptly resigned shortly before the CL24 kicked off, the 55-year-old Argentine seemed like the best choice to continue with the program already in place. The Pumas finished 8th and won their Play-In match but were no match for Cruz Azul in the Liguilla.

Job security for two Liga MX coaches

Martín Anselmi arrived to Cruz Azul with little fanfare, brought in by new general manager Iván Alonso. 

Anselmi’s brashness and aggressive tactics quickly earned the admiration of Cementeros Nation and the results were not long in coming.

“La Máquina Azul” was in the Top 6 most of the year and solid play down the stretch earned the club the No. 2 seed for the Liga MX playoffs.

Despite a risky high-pressing defense, and a scrambling all-in attack that includes the back line, Cruz Azul proved to be the second-best defense in the league, just one season removed from being the third-worst defense.

Even before the Cementeros knocked out playoff nemesis UNAM in the quarterfinals, the 38-year-old manager had been granted a two-year contract extension that should keep Anselmi in Mexico City through 2027.

Up north, Robert Siboldi’s performance in charge of Tigres earned him a second extension, this one for two years.

Siboldi – a former Tigres goalie – came to the team’s rescue a year ago. The 58-year-old Uruguayan became the third Tigres manager of the Clausura 2023 in Week 15 and promptly led the club to its 8th Liga MX title.

As a reward, Tigres gave him a one-year contract extension and Siboldi nearly repeated the trick, taking the Northern Giants to another Liga MX final only to come up short against América.

This season was not so successful, but Siboldi effectively managed the aging roster, gradually moving young wingers Marcelo Flores and Diego Lainez into the starting line-up.

Still, Tigres finished 5th in the Liga MX table, but fell in the Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals before getting erased by crosstown rivals Monterrey in the Liga MX playoffs this past weekend.

With the locker room is in need of an overhaul, the Tigres front office apparently believes Siboldi is the man to lead the transition. He has had success working with academy players at two of his previous Liga MX stops (Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul).


It’ll be worth watching how much patience is extended from up top, but the loyal Tigres fan base is known for supporting its club through thick and thin.