2009 Can't be as Bad as 2008, Can It?

2009 has picked up where 2008 left off for Mexican Futbol. Mexican teams ended the year reeling from a string of bad results: the Tri had to rely on Canada's defense and poor accuracy from the Jamaican strikers to squeeze into the hex. Guadalajara was summarily rin out of the Sudamericana. Cruz Azul's Concachampions fate was out of their control, but they did get the result they needed to move into the knockouts. And the regular season table topper, San Luis, lasted only one round in the liguilla.

The turmoil has leaked into 2009. Pachuca could not get past la U de Chile in a Libertadores play-in. San Luis looked awful in their first Libertadores tie at San Lorenzo-- a 4-1 spanking. Guadalajara lost precious points on the road as they let Lanus off the hook with a stoppage time equalizer. And the Tri could not undo the decade long dominance by los yanquis.

Amazingly, femexfut came out in support of SGE. For now. The upcoming tie at home against the Pura Vida Boys will be where the Swede's future hangs in the balance. Mexico did play better in the US game than their fans will care to admit. The fact remains, though, that the opposing goal has shrunk to the size of a hockey net for the Mexican attack. It doesn't matter whether the opponents are cannucks, catrachos, gringos, ticos, guanacos, or reggae boyz. You can't win if you don't score.

The local league has seen two teams emerge from the pack to take the quarter pole: Toluca does just enough to win. Which works well for them because their defense is so stout. Pachuca has been nothing less than unstoppable. They have 13 from the first 15 points. Consider that a team can get into "el baile" comfortably with 26.

The "big four" haven't done much to live up to there name. Pumas' reward for a hot 2 game start was to drop the next three. Club America has already bounced their high priced Argentine coach. Youth national team coach Jesus Ramirez is next in line to deal with the burden of stratospheric expectations. Cruz Azul and Chivas are muddling along, but haven't done much. Unfortunately for them, since they are all in the same group, at least one (and maybe two) will not make the playoff.

There is no question that the next six weeks will be crucial for Mexican futbol. Will SGE finally find the wattage to zap life into the Mexican attack? Is San Luis over its head in the Libertadores? Will the Mexican clubs take the concachampions seriously? Can Chivas make a deep run in South America? How many more coaches will be looking for work? Will that include SGE?