There have been plenty of folks who have put their considerable expertise on display in making predictions for the upcoming year. They all go through the usual gambit of games, players, titles yada yada yada.
They may know what they are talking about, but, honestly, who can make any predictions about the most unpredictable league and national team on the planet?
We left off 2015 with Chicharito, so it is as good a place to start as any. His torrid scoring pace will continue, and he will be the most sought-after player in the January transfer window despite the fact that the statute says he cannot play for 3 clubs in a calendar season. Citing MLS’ mid-season player acquisition creativity and FIFA’s loss of credibility, clubs will be collecting at Leverkusen’s front porch, like gentlemen callers trying to get a crack at the debutante. If a league as important as MLS can change the rules mid-season, then why can’t they?
Juan Carlos Osorio will lose one of the matches to Canada in March, forcing FMF to fire him prematurely. After an exhaustive search that goes nowhere, Miguel Herrera is re-hired as Mexico’s national team coach. Unfortunately, things go badly for Piojo right from the jump after he slugs media members from Televisa, Fox Deportes and ESPN. Osorio is hastilly rehired. He slugs no one, but bores everyone at his presser with his tactic talk. FMF gets buyers remorse… again.
Tigres will take a 4-0 lead into the CCL final with Club America only to hold the lead and play a boring, procedural final. Tuca is fired soon after.
America, on the other hand, will spend a season in turmoil after giving Nacho Ambriz the boot, only because Ricardo Pelaez heard a rumor that Jose Mourinho was in Acapulco to watch some tennis. The America GM races down the Autopista del Sol to hire the Special only to find out that the Special one had come and gone. Not to be wasteful, Pelaez hires Selena Williams as the head coach and America respond by winning 7 straight matches. Serena quits, though, because in her line of work, 7 straight means a trophy. In Mexico it just means you get a 5 seed and a trip to Chiapas.
The Special One’s nemesis, Pep Guardiola, spurns offers from the EPL to coach the team closest to his heart, Dorados de Culiacan, out of relegation hell. The move is bad news for Chivas, who can’t overcome Pep’s fishies and slide down to Liga Ascenso. Not wanting to take the blame for the humiliating turn of events, Jorge Vergara sells Chivas a week before the fateful fall. The new owners, move quickly to swap franchises with promoted Atlante. Chivas become the Aquachivas de Cancun, while Atlante de Jalisco plays ascenso games in the Omnilife, and draw better than Chivas ever did.
The Liga MX final will tug at everyone’s heart strings. Atlas will try to end 60 years of misery against a team that has elevated misery to an art form: Cruz Azul. The fear of not losing paralyzes the run of play for 210 minutes. No shots on goal, no corner kicks, nothing. Disgusted, referee Paul Delgadillo calls the game after the 2nd extra time. No penalties, he says. No one wins the title, which means the winner of the Clausura 2016, the Aquachivas de Cancun, get two trophies. And that gives them one more title than their rival, America, who spend the fall trying to convince Bjorn Borg to take the reigns.
Come next December, when you think back at how crazy 2016 was in Mexican footy, remember that you read it here first.