Quitting to Effect Change -- Is it Ever Worth It?

It didn’t take long for Pumas to take the lead over Estudiantes Tecos this past Sunday. And after about 10 minutes, they knocked in another. They could have easily had a half dozen by half-time, but took their foot off the gas.

Tecos never left the driveway. And it was pretty clear early on that they were determined to lose. It’s not a pretty thing to watch teams quit during a game, and Tecos had done just that. But who did they quit on?

Was it the coach, Jose Luis “chelis” Sanchez Sola? Chelis is the king of empty threats. A few weeks ago he threatened to quit if Tecos lost against Atlante. They did, and he stayed. Now he says he wants to stay at Tecos for the rest of his coaching career. Despite his bi-polar rhetoric, Chelis is a decent coach, and is at his best when he rallies his troops against a common enemy. If it was Chelis, then the players have their work cut out for them. The front office declared after the 5-1 Pumas loss that Chelis will stay for the rest of the tournament.

Perhaps it was me, but I seemed to notice that Tecos picked up their game when Juan Carlos “Cheto” Leaño left the game with an “injury.” The last name may sound familiar. The Leaño family helped found the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, they are one of the principals in developing the Mexican “Costa Alegre” and are also the team’s owners.

How would you like to be a coach and work with that dynamic? We have all seen coaches’ sons take playing time away from more deserving players at all levels of sport. But an owner’s son?

Cheto is the team captain, and has been a fixture on Tecos’ back line since 1998. This year, he is anchoring a line that has given up 21 goals in 8 games so far. But who is going to bench him?

So, was it no coincidence, then, that Tecos picked it up after he was subbed out? And what of the quote from one of the Leaños after the match.

“I think the team is an old team, and it’s not hitting on all cylinders. There is no doubt we have to add new blood to rejuvenate an aging squad.”

Whose fault is that? The last few of their signings were players who were born mostly in the 70’s. And Cheto.

Is this just another a classic story of an also-ran? Perhaps. Tecos does have a handful of good players and a potential superstar in young Taufic Guarch. But the Tecos front office has elevated incompetence (at least indifference) into an art form. They have one of the itchiest trigger fingers when it comes to coaches, they would rather sign a second-rate burn out (either foreign or domestic) than give one of their youngsters a chance, and they have a Joe Pendleton wannabe anchoring their back line.

It won’t matter who the players quit on because nothing is gonna change any time soon.