Tigres Made Juninho's early goal stick
in the 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Santos
There are some pretty crazy ways to make a living. One of the craziest I can conjure up is betting on the Mexican Futbol League. It is one of the toughest leagues to figure out, and just when you think you have uncovered the trends and tendencies to decipher the league, it goes bizarro. The Wild and Wooly MFL lived up to its billing in Matchday 5.
The biggest surprise unfolded in Monterrey at the Volcan. Tigres, who routinely fail to capitalize on one of the greatest home-field advantages in the league, put a sudden end to Santos’ 4 game winning streak. The classic under achievers brought in Tuca Ferretti to get them out of the relegation zone, and so far, he has paid dividends. But there’s the rub with Tigres: when they get fat and happy, their motivation wanes, and they end the year fighting off a relegation calamity. Tuca shouldn’t have that problem, but this team has had iron-fisted coaches before… and it didn’t matter. Stay Tuned.
As for Santos, they started the season like a runaway train. They breached the goal 12 times in their first 4 games while only conceding once (and they notched 5 more in their first CCL match away to Joe Public). Santos has shown to be one of the best sides of the league, The loss at Tigres should only be a minor bump on the way to the Liguilla. Should be. Who knows?
Over the past two years, Monterrey has shed their underachieving reputation to become one of the strongest teams in the league. Even though they fell victim to a stoppage time equalizer in Pachuca on Saturday, they extended their regular season streak without a loss to 20 games. Victor Manuel Vucetich continues to do an excellent job with Rayados. It is not surprising. He has had success in every one of his coaching stops and should merit serious consideration to fill the vacancy with the National team. Shame he won’t even get a sniff. I’m sure Rayados fans won’t mind, though. A great signing for them.
Last year, the consensus around the league was that Christian “Chaco” Jimenez was the biggest transfer bust of the league. Jimenez, who had been so good for so long with Pachuca, looked like a player with two left feet at Cruz Azul. It was only a matter of time, though. Chaco’s hat trick for Cruz Azul in the Chiapan jungle was the differ3ence for the cementeros. They won 3-2, sending Chiapas deeper into a relegation crisis while Cruz Azul sits tied atop the league with Santos.
Two words that are mentioned together in the same sentence , Atlas and crisis, is hardly a surprise. The academicos have bumbled their way to only one draw in the first 5 games. The cruelest blow came at the hands of Toluca, who won their first game of the year with zinha’s 2nd half stoppage strike. Naturally, there has to be someone to blame for this latest atrocity. Who better than the coach? Carlos Ischia, who last year was lauded for his style and incorporation of the youngsters therein, couldn’t escape the machete.
Ischia wasn’t the only coach that stepped down, though. Jose Luis Sanchez Solis, the animated, colorful Puebla coach, stepped down (again) in protest to the settlement that was reached by Puebla’s owners (anf the 4-1 loss to Pumas). Chelis has resigned and unresigned more than Brett Favre has retired and unretired. But this time it might stick, as he eviscerated, then used the ashes of the bridge with the club to write salty, unpleasant messages on club’s walls.
To be fair to Chelis, neither of the disputed owners are the most noble of characters, far from it. He made it clear he wants no part of the new ownership headed by Ricardo Henaine, whom he considers a despicable human being (his words). There is an open spot in Atlas, Chelis, go for it.
So another crazy week in the MFL. Would we expect anything less?