Brandy, Cigars, Gio, Chivas, and Liga MX Semis

It is time for another edition of the gentlemen’s agreement.  In this installment ‘s John Jagou and ista Joel Aceves hash out the Gio mess, Chivas’ new media leap, and the Liga MX semifinals.

John Jagou:  I was very surprised that Gio did not make Copa America. I am not surprised that FMF bungled the whole thing up. One day these guys will get their stories straight.
Joel Aceves:  I am also surprised Gio was left out not only becaause of well he has been playing with the Galaxy, but also what he means to the national team. Still, there is hope that he gets capped for the Olympics.
JJ:  It used to be for years, decades even, that Mexico did not have the depth to omit players of Gio’s quality. Mexico does have quite a bit of depth now, which is why Osorio can live without Gio for now. He has Tecatito and Chucky.  The guy who was expendable was Jurgen Damm.  Damm is fast, talented, but he is no Gio. Not having Gio on the team will now rachet up the pressure on Osorio. If the expectation of making the semifinals is not met, the press will crucify Osorio for this decision.  But they will crucify him for any and all missteps.
JA:  It reminds me of Bora’s second run with the national team in the late 90s. He was criticized for not calling Carlos Hermosillo. Good ol Velibor would then piss off the press by saying he respected their opinions. Knowing FMF there’s a number of reasons why Hermosillo was sidelined and even after Manuel Lapuente replaced Bora, el Grandote de Cerro Azul remained absent from the Tricolor.
With Gio I get the feeling there’s a question of sponsorship behind Osorio’s announcement that the reasons for Gio being left out will remain between them.
JJ:  The worst part is how many people believe the coach when Gio said he had declined. Then said it would be unethical for me to talk about the reasons. WTF
JA: My take is that FMF has stipulation with TRI sponsors that require Gio to be present in big games-events. And Osorio leaving him out, in my own opinion based on tactical reasons, causes a problem that is easily resolved by claiming the player asked to be left out.
JJ:  The worst part of the whole thing was Gio making press junket appearances without his people having any idea that the list was being released in the middle of said appearances. He was live on the radio with Grant Wahl as the list was being released. Grant asked him why did you decline the call? Gio was shell shocked.
JA:  I missed that interview. Fellow Deuce podcaster Beto kept referencing it and looking for the clip to no avail. I did see Televisa interviewing Gio at a supermarket whilst he promoted head and shoulders and his replies and body language tell me he really wanted to play the Copa America.
JJ:  Gio knows that Tri appearances are what have given him the career he has. It certainly hs not been his club career.  It makes no sense that he would turn it down. SUM and MLS were depending on him to play. It was a big black eye for them both.  Like I said earlier, Mexico might have more depth now, but shutting out a difference maker like Gio is not a good decision.And I do not think it was Gio’s.

Let’s move on to Chivas and their latest media move. They had some demands that Televisa was unwilling to meet. And poof, they are gone.
JA:  Hold on John, let me put on my tin foil hat. My take is that Jorge Vergara doesn’t want his soon to be ex wife Angelica Fuentes to get her cut. It is estimated she owns 49-50% of the club. Their divorce proceedings have been and will continue to be messy. Fellow Deucer Juan recently compared it to the Dodgers ordeal when the owners divorced. I haven’t heard of Chivas making demands to Televisa.
JJ:  They asked to split up TV and internet. Televisa said no. They asked to move their gametime. Televisa said no. So Chivas said, Bye Felicia!
The reality is that Liga MX needs to consolidate TV and other platform rights. Each team gets 17 home dates a year. That is just not enough dates to justify separate deals for every team. If Liga MX were smart, they would aggregate TV deals to sign one for the league. Guarantee that all teams get a showing in exclusive windows. Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night, and wait for it.. Monday night. Teams can still sign their own deals, but must cede a handful of games every season to the LigaMX package. The extra monies would help newly promoted teams compete, and help those that can’t make the, ahem, payroll.
JA:  That deal makes too much sense for the FMF to follow. So, what is your take on what will come of Chivas move? Will they be successful and more clubs follow suit or will they fail and have to give in to Mexico’s Telegarchy.
JJ:  Chivas will get a deal because even in this changing world, TV is king. And a TV provider will give them the deal they want. It is the medium that delivers their product to the most eyeballs.  In Mexico and the US.
JA:  Well, they still have a contract with Univision so U.S Chivas fans can still watch the team on television.
Still, I feel they are trying to distance or cut funds from Omnilife until the divorce decree is signed and notarized. Not to long ago the club’s stadium change its name to Chivas Stadium . it used to be Omnilife stadium and with the multivitamin company not doing so well, I don’t see how taking away their most visible advertisement helps.
The irony of the situation is both Fuentes and Higuera entered Chivas the same way.
Vergara brought in Fuentes as Omnilife CEO because the company was going bankrupt. It’s been reported that she helped fund the company. After her marriage to Vergara she ended up owning basically half of his assets.
After Fuentes was sacked for embezzlement of funds Jose Luis Higuera came in as Omnilife CEO. And now he too decides what happens at Chivas.
JJ: Vergara has gone on record as saying he will not renew with UDN when the contract expires in 2018. So it does look like a scorched earth strategy. Once again personal battles take precedence, and the ones who end up losing in the end are the fans.  Fans like you, Joel.
JA:  Maybe I’m old but I don’t see how people will enjoy watching a streamed match. Do they gather around an IPad, do they use a projected to make a bigger image, and what if you’d internet connection is no good. Do you watch a laggy feed. What is your neighbor is stealing your Wi-Fi to stream the game from a pirate site would that affect quality too. So many questions, lol.
JJ:  I am right there with you. I grew up adjusting rabbit ears to get an image, any discernible image of a game. Ultimately, though, someone will give Vergara a deal even he can’t pass up.  Or he will get desperate.  Count on the former.
We can’t finish our discussion without touching on what happened in la Tamalera. Once again, a referee decision has an impact on the outcome of an America Liguilla ouster. After seeing the replays, it could have gone either way, but the referee, in real time saw Samudio lean into the shot with his arm/shoulder. The body language is what swayed the call, IMO.
Of course, America fans went on a rager, but seemed to conveniently forget the dubious call that led to Miky Arroyo’s 2nd free kick goal. And what is worse, in the ensuing arguments after the penalty, players lost their minds and were sent off, thus wiping out any chance America had in getting the goal they needed to advance.  Which, frankly, they could have gotten.
JA:  Agreed on all points. My question is regarding America’s indiscipline who is to blame. Does this fall on head coach Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Ambriz or is Ricardo Pelaez to blame because he’s known of this issues for quite some time now.
JJ:  It falls on the players. The coach can only do so much. He can’t hold their hands and wipe their noses when they get the sniffles. But the coaches have to set the expectation. Vasco Aguirre’s second turn with Mexico reminds me that coaches can successfully try to temper players’ emotions. He told his players repeatedly that as a player you cannot change the ref’s mind, and there will be calls both in favor and against. Either way, you cannot let it affect you. Period. In fact, the last Mexico player to be red carded was Manuel Noriega. That was back in 2009. He was never called up again.  America is a great team, and Nacho should be given the chance to work things out next year.

We would be remiss if we fail to mention the electrifying series between Leon and Pachuca. While Chucky Lozano gets a lot of the attention, the Pachuca player who has impressed me is Rodolfo Pizarro. And with Eric Gutierrez, Pachuca is well equipped to give Monterrey fits. That is one hell of a midfield.  And so young too.

Full credit to Leon, though. They fought back and probably would have won the series were it not for some unfortunate bounces in front of Conejo Perez. I was nervous and I had no rooting interest.

JA:  We have talked about Pachuca being one of the Liga MX clubs that is showing that it is possible to nurture young talent and still be a force within the league. Their current crop of players is impressive. That said, isn’t a bit of a stretch for Tuzo President  Jesús Martínez to claim the final will be “Cantera vs Cartera,” given the amount of foreigners Pachuca has on the squad.

JJ: True, they have their share of sellswords, but the heart of the team is made up of the Pachuca Padawans. Tuzo fans better hope they win because the three will be gone come July.
JA: So, you expect Chucky Lozano to cross the pond soon.. Any league you would like to see him play in?
JJ:  I do think Lozano will be in Europe, especially if he impresses in Copa America. I would like to see him in the Bundesliga. It fits his game well. But Pizarro and Gutierrez would also fetch a pretty penny in the local market.
JA: The Bundesliga has been good to Mexican players. With the exception of Marco Fabian who was unfortunate with the coaching change. In the past we’ve seen the Dutch Eredivisie as a good stepping stone for Mexican players going to Europe but the Bundesliga should be a targeted destination.
JJ:  I like the Eredivisie as well, but do believe the Bundesliga provides more quality and excitement.
Great stuff this week, Joel.
JA:  Thanks.
Listen to the Dos a Zero Futbol podcast every Wednesday Live at 9ish PM CT.  Download the podcast on itunes. 
Follow John Jagou on Twitter @jjagou
Follow Joel Aceves on Twitter @joelyaceves

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