Liga MX Notebook: Of dismissals, an arrival and FIFA sanctions

Tijuana looking for new coach, Mazatlán FC found its man and Monterrey addresses alleged debts
Miguel Herrera was sent packing by Tijuana after a disappointing Clausura 2024 season in which the Xolos finished 16th in the Liga MX table.
Miguel Herrera was sent packing by Tijuana after a disappointing Clausura 2024 season in which the Xolos finished 16th in the Liga MX table. / Jam Media/GettyImages

The Xolos of Tijuana have parted ways with coach Miguel Herrera after the club extended its streak of missing the Liga MX playoffs to five years with a 2-8-7 record that left the border franchise in 16th place this season.

The former El Tri coach went a disappointing 10-13-24 since taking over the Xolos just four games into the Clausura 2023 season.

This was Herrera’s second stint as Tijuana boss. He enjoyed much more success during his first term, posting a 33-17-24 record and earning the top seed in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons (Apertura 2016 and Clausura 2017) though failing to reach the Liga MX final either of those seasons.

Xolos general manager José Antonio Núñez told ESPN that he expects to have a new manager in place before the end of the month.

‘King Midas’ moves to Mazatlán

While Tijuana begins its search for a new boss, Mazatlán FC addressed its managerial vacancy with a splashy hire.

Víctor Manuel Vucetich – the legendary coach with the golden touch (he has 5 Liga MX titles, 3 Copa MX trophies and 3 Concacaf medals) – has been hired as the seventh coach in Cañoneros history.

Vucetich, 68, coached his last game on May 20, 2023. That was in the Liga MX semifinals in which his top-seeded Monterrey side was knocked out by Tigres. Losing to the bitter crosstown rivals is always bad, but getting eliminated by the No. 7 seed was too much for Rayados ownership to bear.

Vucetich replaces Ismael Rescalvo who was sacked after a 4-0 home loss on Matchday 14, a loss that left the Cañoneros 3-3-8 and guaranteed that Mazatlán FC would have to pay a 33 million-peso fine for finishing 16th in the Relegation Standings.

“King Midas” has been on Liga MX touchlines for 991 games and another 118 Cup and Concacaf matches. He will have his work cut out for him in Sinaloa as Mazatlán will open the Apertura 2024 season sitting in last place in the Relegation standings.

Rayados confident of avoiding FIFA penalty

On April 26, Monterrey was notified by FIFA that they would be prohibited from signing new players over the next three transfer windows.

The sanction from soccer’s ruling body was due to an alleged failure to pay transfer fees in full, but it was not clear which player was involved.

Initial reports identified the transaction between Argentina’s Estudiantes de la Plata and Monterrey that brought midfielder Jorge “Corcho” Rodríguez to the Rayados in January. Another publication claimed that Monterrey had failed to pay off Ecuador’s Emelec for winger Joao Rojas (a deal done in July 2022). 

On Sunday, the sports daily Record indicated that the transaction in question involved Liga MX rival Atlético de San Luis and forward Germán Berterame. The complaint was related to the claim by San Lorenzo that the Argentine club still owned 40% of Berterame’s player rights.

Whatever the actual transgression, a Monterrey spokesman insists that all debts and payments have been honored and the issue will be rectified this week.

Let’s hope so because the Rayados don’t need any distractions heading into yet another playoff “Clásico.” Fifth-seeded Monterrey faces the 4th-seeded Tigres in the Liga MX quarterfinals this week. 


And coming off a depressing home loss to Columbus Crew that knocked the Rayados out of the Concacaf Champions Cup, coach Fernando Ortiz can ill-afford to lose to their bitter rivals. Or Monterrey could be looking for a new coach before the month is over.