The Relegation Hot Zone: Five teams battle to avoid the drop with one surprising team making the list

relegation-e1452828607233-30om25ge666hvwm29hhma2

The Liga MX Clausura 2016 Tourney is the definitive season for relegation. Relegation in the Liga Mx is based upon a percentage table that is calculated by games played and how many points were obtained.

The lowest team on the percentage table is the one who drops down into second division to pave the way for the promoting team. The bottom 5 places on the percentage table are extremely tight, with each team having either a slim/high chance of surivival or vice versa. Here’s an overview on the five team in the danger zone of relegation.

Dorados, The fish swimming against current

unnamed

“The message is to not go down (to second division), the message is to reach Liguilla (play-offs), one situation gives to the other.”- Luis Fernando Suarez (Dorados Head Coach)

Dorados is in the hottest spot in the percentage table, started the season with a loss and have the less talented squad, yet Mr. Suarez has the audacity to state that Liguilla is their main objective. The fight is NOT to get into Liguilla primarily, but to rise in the percentage table and avoid relegation.

Assuming that simply by being in Liguilla spots saves you is absolutely wrong. In the Clausura 2013, Queretaro finished the season in 8th place of the general table and qualified for the Liguilla. However, since they finished last in the percentage chart the ‘Gallos Blancos’ were relegated and lost their playoffs spot.

Therefore, Dorados mindset should change from entering Liguilla to obtaining the maximum amount of points this season. Their game against Chiapas was good ,but good won’t be enough this season for them. Priorities are wrong at Sinaloa, the future looks bleak ,however there is much of the season and much can happen from here to until the final whistle on Matchday 16.

Morelia, playing against 12?

20151001_11_57_EnriqueMezaMonarcas_Mxsport

“The past tournament we suffered the unpleasantries of the referee’s, but my style isn’t to complain. Today’s was obvious and disgusting, but honestly i don’t like to talk about the referee’s, instead i like to help them” – Enrique Meza (Morelia’s Head Coach)

In a season where Morelia (17th) is right above Dorados (18th) in the percentage table and relegation seems close, it seems that Morelia’s biggest enemy is the referee’s. The referee’s could in no doubt play a huge part in this season’s biggest loser. Refereeing in Mexico has become extremely polemic to a point where their decisions directly affect games.

The referee mistake in Morelia’s game against Cruz Azul could have been a harsh blow in the percentage chart had it not been for the ‘Monarchs’ equalizing and rescuing a point. Morelia had a very good game against Cruz Azul giving their fans faith that they can avoid the drop.

Morelia has a decent team and a more than qualified Head Coach that will in no doubt obtain enough points to move up in the percentage table. Points are valuable for Morelia and if it wasn’t hard enough to play against eleven players, Morelia will have to be on the lookout of referee’s and their mediocre displays. One can only wonder if the referee’s this season can cost Morelia only this game or the whole season?

Chivas, awakening the sleeping…. goat?

20150920_5044

“The result is unfair, i think Chivas deserved the three points, they looked for it, took advantage of the extra man because they had the possession of the ball, pushing the rival in their own half and creating scoring chances”- Matias Almeyda (Head coach of Chivas)

Chivas showed dominance in their opening game against a resilient Veracruz that played one man down. That said, the result was fair. Chivas did not know how to make the most of their home-field and numerical advantage. Instead, Chivas looked better against 11-man Veracruz than a 10-man Veracruz.

Veracruz does deserve merit for knowing how to close down the game and being effective in their attacks, something Chivas wasn’t. However, Chivas did give glimpses of hope for their fans. Chivas’ pre-season signings were quick to bring results with Orbelin Pineda assisting Carlos Peña’s first goal for the club.

There is much to be excited about at Guadalajara. The team has enormous amount of talent and potential at their disposal. Although their main objective is to climb out of the percentage hot seat the ‘Goats’ can become a contender for the title.

Puebla, one of the league’s underdogs

150530marini

“The absolute priority is to fight the percentage issue which is definitive, afterwards think about Libertadores and Liguilla”- Pablo Marini (Puebla Head Coach)

Puebla is a team that has it’s priorities straight and it’s football even straighter. Despite being a very limited squad, exploited to their maximum potential by Pablo Marini, the ‘Camoteros’ will look to replicate last season’s performance to move up in the percentage table.

It will be a busy season for Puebla as they now have Copa Libertadores to deal with while the threat of relegation looms behind them. Already, Puebla started the season on the right foot taking a very valuable tie against Club America at the Azteca stadium.

Puebla could have even won the game but the ‘Aguilas’ on-form keeper Moises Munoz managed to prevent the ‘Camoteros’ from embarrassing his side. Puebla only needs 20 points to secure their stay in the top flight. Twenty points that will in no doubt come to Puebla if they keep up their amazing football and great mindset.

Tijuana, does Miguel’s bark equal his bite?

B8841968Z.1_20151228192751_000GTM8VLSS.2-0_tx600

“There is still much work to be done”- Miguel Herrera (Tijuana Head Coach)

The ‘Xolos’ of Tihuana are the surprise team in the relegation hot seat. Although, Tijuana is 14th in the percentage table and unlikely to get relegated a terrible season would push Xolos to the depths of the percentage chart.

Last season they managed to only earn 16 points, one more than last placed Dorados. While Tijuana’s main objective is Liguilla they can not ignore the fact that they are in an awkward position in the percentage table.

Miguel Herrera has been relegated before with Veracruz in 2008 and he’ll hope to avoid any of that pressure throughout the season. Herrera’s Tijuana looked a bit below average against Pachuca on Matchday 1 and will hope to ease up the pressure with a win against Dorados. Herrera will need some time at Tijuana to really implement his strategy and once he does the team can leave the percentage table in the past and look towards the future of fighting for the league championship.

 

Written by Luis Molano

Luis is a Liga Mx blogger and part time ranter. Always up for soccer debate!

Follow him on Twitter @Lu__Molano

Marco Fabian Set to Revive Career at Frankfurt

Marco Fabian

Marco Fabian’s career seemed to have stalled after returning to Chivas Guadalajara. Fabian had reluctantly returned to his home-team, after playing on-loan with Cruz Azul, to help save the club from relegation. Being a product of Chivas youth academy should have been reason enough to help the club in it’s time of need but Fabian’s relationship with the institution had been tarnished to the point that he conditioned his return with a contract stipulation that would facilitate a transfer from abroad.

“Since the moment I found out of the possibility of going to Eintracht Frankfurt I felt joy, and now (that the transfer is complete) even more so,” admitted Fabian in an interview with ESTO before boarding his flight to Germany. For Fabian his move to the Bundesliga is not just a sight of relief but a second chance to prove his worth. Once viewed as one of Liga MX’s most promising players Fabian had fallen to the wayside soon after winning  gold at the 2012 London Olympics with the Mexican national team.

Read more

Taking the Jump

2108760_w2

“The chain always breaks at the weakest link – which is the coach. This career is risky, [just] like bungee jumping.”

Barcelona gaffer Luis Enrique compared coaching to bungee jumping after Real Madrid sacked Rafael Benitez. “Cant comment on him as coach or judge,” said Enriquez of new Real boss, and former teammate, Zinedine Zidane. “And I have no bad memories of any ex-opponent.” With Barca currently atop La Liga table Enrique’s cord is quite secured.

Cuba Considers Sending Players To Liga MX

For the first time ever, the Asociación de Fútbol de Cuba has begun negotiations with Liga MX to allow Cubans to play in Mexico. According to a recent report from fan site Vamos Cruz Azul, the Cruz Azul might be one of the first beneficiaries of the talks. This is a big deal.

Two of the players profiting from these discussions are 22-year-old forward Maykel Reyes and U-23 left back Abel Martínez. Reyes is a Pinar del Río native and scorer of the lone goal in Cuba’s historic 1-0 victory over Guatemala at the Gold Cup this past summer, and both players are currently taking part in Cruz Azul’s preseason rumbo al Clausura 2016.

Read more

Group Seeds and Game Dates Announced for Historic 2016 Copa America Centenario

Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United States Head the Four Groups in the Tournament;  Seeded Nations to Visit Nine of the Ten Host Markets in Group Play

Miami (Thursday, December 17, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and the Copa America Centenario Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announced today the group seeds and game dates for the historic 2016 Copa America Centenario. The once-in-a-lifetime soccer summer event, which honors 100 years of the Copa America tournament, will feature some of the world’s best teams and players competing from June 3-26, 2016, in the United States.

As the host nation, the United States earns the Group A seed, while Argentina, as the highest FIFA-ranked nation in the Americas (per December FIFA rankings), will be seeded top of Group D.

In celebration of the rich soccer tradition in the hemisphere and as the most decorated nations in the last 100 years in international competitions from their respective confederations, the national teams of Brazil and Mexico have also been awarded group seeds, and will head Groups B and C, respectively.

The remaining 12 participating nations will be sorted into the four groups in early 2016 based on a public draw. Seeding for the draw will be based on the December 2015 FIFA World Rankings. Details of groups and procedures for the draw will be announced leading up to that event.

In announcing the seeded teams, organizers also revealed the dates of matches, including the cities each seeded nation will visit, as well as the dates they will play during the group phase of the tournament.

CONCACAF Women’s U20 Championship Schedule

CONCACAF Announces Schedule for Final Stages at CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship Honduras 2015Womens U20

Miami (Thursday, December 10, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today confirmed the matchups, schedule and site of the semifinals, third place and final of the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship Honduras 2015.

Canada will face Mexico in Friday’s first semifinal at 5 pm local time (6 pm ET). In the nightcap, host Honduras takes on the United States at 8 pm (9 pm ET). Both matches, as well as Sunday’s third place match and final, will take place at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula.

The winners of Friday’s semifinals will advance to Sunday’s final, and also qualify directly to the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. The winner of Sunday’s third place match also qualifies for next year’s World Cup in this category.

The United States earned a 6-0 victory over Haiti on Wednesday at the Escuela Internacional Sampedrana, lifting the Americans into first place in Group B on goal difference over Mexico, which defeated Panama 2-0, earlier in the day.

Group A winner Canada – the only team earn a perfect nine points in the group stage — awaits Mexico in the final four. Host Honduras qualified from Group A on superior goal differential over Jamaica, assuring that nation’s best-ever result in a CONCACAF women’s event with a ticket to the World Cup still to play for.

CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship Honduras 2015 – Revised Schedule *Listed in ET (local time)

Friday, December 11, 2015 – Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano (Semi-finals)

6:00pm (5:00pm) Canada vs. Mexico 9:00pm (8:00pm) United States vs. Honduras

Sunday, December 13, 2015 – Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano (Third Place and Final)

4:00pm (3:00pm) Loser SF 1 vs. Loser SF 2 7:00pm (6:00pm) Winner SF 1 vs. Winner SF
2

Portland Timbers win MLS Cup

FEAT-PortlandTimbers-120615vColumbusCrewTrophyCelebration

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Portland Timbers qualified for the 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League thanks to a 2-1 victory over host Columbus Crew SC in the MLS Cup final on Sunday.

Diego Valeri and Costa Rica international Rodney Wallace scored to give the visitor a 2-0 within the opening seven minutes, while Kei Kamara replied in the 18th minute.

A capacity crowd of 21,747 at MAPFRE Stadium was stunned as the Timbers generated the fastest goal in MLS Cup history, striking only 27 seconds after kickoff. Goalkeeper Steve Clark took an awkward touch near the edge of the six-yard box off Wil Trapp’s innocently played backpass. Valeri hustled towards the ball and his slide tackle sent it directly into the back of the net.

Read more

CONCACAF Sets 2015/16 Scotiabank Champions League Quarterfinal Schedule

FEAT_SCCL_Cup-and-Stadium-769x395

Miami (Wednesday, December 2, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today unveiled the schedule for the quarterfinals of the 2015/16 edition of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, the region’s premier competition for clubs.

The quarterfinal round begins the evening of Tuesday, February 23, when four-time Major League Soccer champion DC United visit first-time quarterfinalist Gallos Blancos de Queretaro, at 8 pm ET (7 pm local), followed by a nightcap in Seattle when defending Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League titlist Club America kicks off its quarterfinal series with Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field (10 pm ET/ 7 pm local).

Read more

CONCACAF Announces Interim Leadership Structure

CONCACAF-Logo

Miami (Monday, December 7, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced that the Confederation’s Executive Committee (EXCO) voted unanimously to not appoint a successor President of CONCACAF and to operate the Confederation through the members of the EXCO as a whole until a new President is democratically elected by its Member Associations. The vote will take place at the XXXI CONCACAF Ordinary Congress on May 12, 2016, in Mexico City.

Read more

Messi the Anomaly vs. Ronaldo the Athlete

Edgar_Davids_2

“Messi is just an anomaly, he can dribble, he can score, he can pass, he has the vision, he understands the game. Ronaldo is just an athlete. He works so hard and back to back, he is always there. If you work hard can you be like Messi? No, that’s impossible.”

In an interview with FOURFOURTWO fomer Dutch international Edgar Davids described Lionel Messi as “an anomaly” and Cristiano Ronaldo as “just an athlete” after tipping the Argentina star to land the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or.

1 2 3