In a move that is shocking only because it took so long to happen, crack salesman, and embattled team president, Michel Bauer, resigned from his post at Club América late last night.
Much to the delight of Americanistas the world over.
Bauer was a questionable choice to take over as the club's top decision maker back in 2008 mainly because his credentials didn't really scream out "run one of the biggest teams in the world." The team's official website listed his numerous sales accomplishments as well as a completed course in the Cruyff school of footie management.
Just because you take a rocket science correspondence course at TacoJaco doesn't mean you are qualified to be lead on the next space shuttle launch. Bauer was in over his head, and everyone seemed to know it except his bosses.
Not surprisingly, the team suffered through a perpetual series of setbacks from which the club could not overcome. The team could never settle on a coach, much less players on the roster. Their big-ticket signings were hired guns who shot blanks or ambivalent burnouts. And none ever seemed to fully buy into the arrogant, devastating, hate me more, swagger that has defined Americanismo for generations.
Not even close. The entire team was symbolically put on the winter transfer list. And the one player who has best exemplified this notion of Americanismo, Angel Reyna, has been essentially erased from the team.
How did this happen?
America failed to find an adequate replacement for Cuauhtémoc Blanco when he left the squad in 2007. They thought they had their guy with Juan Carlos Mosqueda, who played well for a good while. An injury, though, did him in and he has not been seen or heard from since.
We also cannot discount the devastating loss of Paraguayan International Salvador Cabañas, who was shot in the head in a Mexican Night club right before the World Cup. Cabañas was easliy the best player in the league and maybe in the hemisphere before the incident, and, truth be told, it would have been hard for any team to replace him.
And then there is the academy, or lack there of. Where are the home-grown players? Club América has always been a team that brings in the talent, but what made them such a great team for so long was the combination of the big-ticket signings and their own "flesh and blood."
Couple this well drying up with questionable signings, add an iffy front office, and it's really no surprise that the Azulcremas have imploded.
There is talk of bringing back another favorite son, Javier Aguirre, to run the show as team president. He might be available as his run at Zaragoza might be nearing an abrupt end.
The guy I would bring in to the fold, perhaps to run the academy and eventually the whole team is Cuauhtémoc Blanco. Who better than Blanco to restore the true americanismo at the most fundamental levels. How great would be for him to scour the less than modest neighborhoods like the one where he grew up to find the next great Club América superstar? Or two? Or three? He'll know where to look and what to look for. Temo has made strong indication that he wants to coach, and I can't think of a better place for him to start.
América will overcome this, eventually. The league is better when América is strong, and when America is strong, there is no team bigger, and no team more detested. Which is just how the Americanismo likes it. I am sure most America fans hope the days of treating their beloved águilas like a fantasy team are over.