CantinaMX Futbol newsletter #8

Greetings Cantina patrons, we hope you are excited for the Liga MX Clausura 2017 final as much as we are. The final promises to be a good one with an on fire Tigres taking on a Chivas squad hungry for glory. And there will be a Liguilla first as both TV Azteca and Televisa will share coverage of the games. This new alliance, which also shared the Canelo-Chavez fight, is said to be an effort to retain League and National team TV rights from foreign competitors. While the Liga MX season comes to an end the Mexican national team begins preparing for back to back summer tourneys: FIFA Confederations Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup and World Cup Qualifiers.

La Gran Final Preview

Chivas and Tigres road to the final could not have been more different as is what is on the line for both clubs. Chivas, which had not reached a league final in 11 years, benefited from their 3rd place league finish which served as tie braker in their draws with both Atlas and Toluca to reach the final. Tigres on the other hand outscored their opponents Monterrey and Tijuana 10-1 with a dominating performance. Tigres are the favorites to take the series and join the select list of clubs that have won back to back league titles. As for Chivas they will have to make the best of their goal scoring chances if they hope to tame the Tigre. Unfortunately, the odds of Alan Pulido going on a scoring binge are as good as the striker being kidnapped by a drug cartel for a second-time and kung-fu fighting his way to freedom whilst wearing a colorful romper that would make Jorge Campos Jealous.

Mole Tour Training Camp under way

The Mexican national team has begun preperations for their busy summer, which includes friendly games against Croatia and Ireland, World Cup qualifying games against Honduras and the United States as well as FIFA Confederations Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup, at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento. Missing from Juan Carlos Osorio’s squad are the Chivas and Tigres players that received a call up. Also, Marco Fabián, Raúl Jiménez and Carlos Salcedo who still needed by their clubs will report with the squad in Denver prior to the Ireland friendly. Giovani Dos Santos, who did not received permission from the L.A Galaxy to participate in Mexico’s friendly tour will report with the national team on June 4th for the World Cup qalifying games.

Aguirre headed to MLS?

Javier ‘el Vasco’ Aguirre venture in the United Arab Emirates has come to an end after winning the leagues Cup title with Al Wahda. Aguirre plans to take a short break from coaching and return next year. “I turned down an offer to remain at the club a month ago because of personal reasons. It’s been a while since I have been with my family, my sons, my wife and I. I considered that I owed myself a break after 18 or 20 years of working,” Aguirre told reporters. “I have a various offers from China and for the MLS but wont be until January.”

2017 Clausura Liguilla Quarterfinal recap

As posted to our mailing list: Subscribe!

Greetings Cantina Patrons, we hope you have been enjoying the 2017 Liga MX Clausura playoffs as much as we have. Despite there being no surprises in the first round match-up results we can confirm that our podcast predictions were spot on. So, grab a pint of something frosty, pull up a chair and join us for this weeks round up.

I Feel Your Pain Bro

As expected the Rojinegros of Atlas once again crashed from the playoffs to the dismay of their hopefull fans. We were going to say without pain nor glory but judging by some of their fans reactions there clearly was much pain. The ‘Rojinegros’ last league Campionship was in the 1950-1951 season – 66 years ago. While Atlas were not favorites for the league title a victory over Chivas was very much in he cards. Atlas had won the first leg, at home at Jalisco stadium, by one goal. Perhaps, it wasn’t much of a difference but Chivas had now strubg together a five match winless streak having only scored once and off a penalty kick. Needles to say the Goats dominated the second-leg and leveled the series 1-1 to advance by having finished the season in better standing. “Ah you think failure plagues you? said the Atlista to the Cruz Azul fan. “You merely adopted the Cruzazuleada. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!”

Morelia’s fairytale comes to an End

Morelia had a thrilling finish to the regular season where they not only avoided relegation but managed to sneak into the league playoffs. Their first-round match-up against Xolos of Tijuana looked promising with the Monarchs edging out a one-nil win at home at Morelos stadium. However, just as it appeared that the curse of the league leaders was going to be set in motion Xolos made the most of the Caliente Stadium home advantage to win by two goals and advance to the semifinal.Perhaps the curse is not over yet as Tijuana must not face the mighty Tigres. “They are a great rival, champions of Mexico and have everything to repeat but we are concentrated on turding the tide in our favor,” said Miguel ‘Piojo’ Herrera after the match.

Chorizo Power loses it’s Spice

It might not seem like it, as there had been little noise, but the Diablos Rojos of Toluca are celebrating their centenial and expect to make the final to celebrate with a Championship win. The Diablos arrived to the playoffs on a four match winless streak only to stun Santos, at the Corona stadium, with a resounding 4-1 victory! All seemed well for the ‘Choriceros’ but on the return their leg they were made to suffer in their own devil’s cauldron of the Bombonera stadium. Santos very close of tying the series, winning 3-1, and putting the fear of God into the devils. “It seems that at home we are scared to execure our gameplay. I say it seems like it because I do not think it is fear, it is anxiety of wanting to do everything right and become unbeatable,’ Toluca boss Hernan Cristante told reporters after the match. Toluca’s next opponent will be another club that is having a difficlt time of winning at home: Chivas!

Savage Takedown!

There is nothing worse than losing to your cross town rivals like losing to them in lopsided fashion during the league playoffs. The Rayados Monterrey were no match for an on-fire Andre-Pierre Gignac and his Tigres who won the series with a humiliating 6-1 fashion: losing 4-1 at the Volcano followed by a 2-0 defeat at home. “This is the worst pain I have felt since being here, it is a difficult blow, I am beaten, very sad for what happened in this series. I want to thank the fans who supported us until the final minute…I am responsible for this defeat. Today I am beaten, truth be told I am hurt and sad because we could not achieved what we wanted,” lamented Antonio ‘Turco’ Mohamed during post match press conference.

Savage beatdown!


Following up on the Savage Takedown in Monterrey, there were also scenes of violence. For the second time(1st being in Veracruz) this season in opposing team’s stadiums, Tigres fans get fists flying at their faces and it wasn’t a fair fight. I read in one article, 50 fans taking turns beating a couple of Tigres fans. Just brutal. Why did this happen? During the return leg game in Rayado dominated BBVA stadium, when Tigres was obviously going to win the series, announcers commented that Nahuel Guzman was making fun of Edwin Cardona, by inflating his cheeks, calling him gordo/fat! The gloating may have gotten out of control on the field and spread to the fans, who had to be upset with their team’s result in the first place. The gloating was just adding fuel to the fire. These are the times where you need to wear the opposing team’s jersey underneath your team’s colors, just in case you are fleeing for your life.

Mole Tour Roster

NEW YORK (Tuesday, May 16, 2017) – The Mexican National Team held a press conference today to announce its roster ahead of upcoming matches against Croatia at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, on May 27, presented by Nissan, and against Ireland at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on June 1.

MEXICO NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER:

Goalkeepers: Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Granada), Alfredo Talavera** (Toluca)

Defenders: Oswaldo Alanís** (Guadalajara), Néstor Araujo (Santos Laguna), Raúl López (Pachuca), Rafael Márquez (Atlas), Héctor Moreno (PSV Eindhoven), Diego Reyes (Espanyol), Luis Reyes (Atlas), Carlos Salcedo*** (Fiorentina)

Midfielders: Jonathan Dos Santos (Villarreal), Jesús Dueñas** (Tigres), Andrés Guardado (PSV Eindhoven), Erick Gutiérrez (Pachuca), Elías Hernández (León), Jorge Hernández (Pachuca), Héctor Herrera (Porto FC), Miguel Layún (Porto FC), Jesús Molina (Monterrey), Orbelín Pineda** (Guadalajara)

Forwards: Javier Aquino** (Tigres), Jesús Manuel Corona (Porto FC), Jurgen Damm** (Tigres), Marco Fabián*** (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jesús Gallardo (Pumas), Javier Hernández (Bayer Leverkusen), Raúl Jiménez** (Benfica), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Oribe Peralta (América), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad)

**Pending approval from his club
***Only available for New York game

Crisis? What Crisis? – The Gentlemen’s Agreement

We’re back!  In this installment of the Gentlemen’s Agreement, futmexnation contributor Joel Aceves and CantinaMX podcast host John Jagou expose the truth behind the “crises” of certain Liga MX teams, the decision to broadcast LigaMX games in English, and they pay their respects, sort of, to once proud rivalry.

 

John Jagou:  Joel, We are now one third of the way into the the Clausura 2017 season.  And if I don’t say so myself, we have been pretty spot on with how we expected the tournament to play out.

It is almost as if we have been watching Mexican soccer for decades.

 

Joel Aceves:  It is as if we are binge watching our favorite Netflix series for the third time. Last week Tigres manager Ricardo Tuca Ferretti talked about being worried for the team’s poor form [four loses out of six games this season], but claimed that this was no reason to claim that the team is in a crisis.

He’s right.

The short season lends itself for the media and fans to exaggerate these types of situations. This is especially true for more popular clubs like America. The media is having a field day with their poor form [12th place in the table] even though they are only six points from first place Toluca.  As we have seen before anything can happen in 2-3 match days to shake up the league table.

 

JJ: Tigres fans should be ashamed of themselves for even conceiving the #fueratuca hashtag. The coach has elevated Tigres to heights last enjoyed when Tomás Boy, Osvaldo Batocletti and Patrulla Barbadillo roamed the Volcán as players. Not to mention the fact that Tigres had a slow start in the ’16 Apertura. Breaking news… Tigres always has slow starts.  When will the fans learn.

América is another issue, only because their coach, Ricardo Lavolpe, is a walking, talking train-wreck waiting to happen. It is only a matter of time before the wheels come off.  At least Tigres has the excuse of playing poorly vs decent teams.

But like you said, the league’s parity allow for little slips that can easily be adjusted with a 2 or 3 game win streak.

 

Joely:  Despite the competition created by the short season format with teams being able to finish the season in 8th place and going on to win the league title I still prefer the long season format. I prefer playoff system for Cup tourneys which as has just been announced there will be a joint Liga MX/MLS cup this year. As long as both leagues take the tourney I am all for it. I don’t really care to see how Liga MX bench warmers fair against MLS sides.

 

JJ:  It has been nearly 20 years since we have seen long seasons, and most of us don’t know a Liga MX without a post-season.  Because of the format, yes, 8 seeds can win, and they have. But not as often as you think. The seeds that have won the most titles have been the #2 and #3 seeds. Which makes sense as we have seen an 8 seed take down the pole-sitter time and time again, making it easier for the next in line to take the crown.

The liguilla ain’t going anywhere, but at least it is not a 10-team tournament like it used to be.  But 8 is still too many. I would suggest limiting the post season to 6 teams to give the top 2 seeds a 1st round bye. That way rights holders still get 3 weeks of postseason, and the top teams are assured of making the semifinal round.

Speaking of rights holders, Univision made quite the announcement.

 

Joely:  Yes sir, they will be streaming Liga MX games in English via Facebook. This is something Liga MX should have done years ago. And even Chivas could have tested before doing their failed Chivas TV. So, how do you think this will play out?

 

JJ: This is not the first time Liga MX games have been broadcast in English. A few years ago, ESPN broadcast a handful of Liga MX games when they had acquired the English-language rights for Tri broadcasts.

That only lasted a season.

I do believe this endeavor will have better staying power. It is a shame, however, that it has to be a broadcast partner, and not Liga MX themselves that proceeded with this venture.

For all of their chest-puffing about being one of the world’s top leagues, they have consistently proven to lack the vision and planning to move the league forward in this 21st Century.  Their website is half completed and, frankly, a mess.  Their twitter presence, to be fair, does an excellent job of posting goals as they happen.

 

Joely:  It also shows how divided the Liga MX club owners are. The Televisa and TV Azteca duopoly that existed for many years seems to have drawn a line in the sand a line that will now be divided with the expansion of two more open broadcast television stations. Clubs should now be getting more money but also it can and should lead to a shake up within the Mexican Football Federation. It is now more independently run as opposed to being a puppet to the big two television stations.

The next years should be interesting as FMF will most likely begin to get restructured. By 2022 we can be seeing a whole new management in both league and national team.

 

JJ: The underlying issue is that the clubs negotiate their own broadcast rights. But for years they had to put up with the scraps from what they got from the duopoly who would, in turn, broadcast games locally on a pay channel.   And since there was no centralized power to combat this, the teams (more importantly, the fans) just had to sit there and take it.

Now that Liga MX is separate from FMF, the next logical step is to negotiate broadcast and digital rights collectively. I am pretty sure they can do better than the $120 MM per year that was mentioned in the Guardian Article.  That averages to 6.7 MM per team.

A collective contract can also set broadcast windows, but there is no reason a team has to play in the same one every other week. I would like to see a Friday night window, 3 Saturday windows, 2 Sunday windows, and, wait for it… a Monday Night window.

 

Joely:  Monday Night Futbol would be just as big as the Liga MX Apertura 2016 Christmas final.  It would also expose more viewers to less popular clubs. All of these proposals could be feasible in the next years. It just remains to be seen if the club owners can work together for the greater good.

If they can have a Gentleman’s Agreement over player transfers, then I’m sure they will have another one over League and national team rights.

 

JJ:  National team rights also look to be released from the steely clutches of the duopoly after 2018. Perhaps the revenue generated from those rights fees will enlighten the owners.

The National team just finished playing another Molero in Las Vegas. Was it an exercise to find a Gold Cup squad or was Osorio looking for wrinkles to add for the upcoming qualifiers?

 

Joely:  Friendly games played on non-FIFA match days allow the coach to work with players that they normally wouldn’t get this kind of attention.  It is the main reason why I don’t place too much emphasis on collective game play. This, however, doesn’t stop the media from being over critical on the team’s performance. Some of the players were coming from playing 2-3 games as is the case with the Chivistas who had a Boca Jrs friendly sandwiched between Copa MX and League play. Others like Giovani Dos Santos are in pre-season form. Still, having this opportunity to test players helps Mexico in the long run as the coach has a good idea on what players are up to the task.

 

JJ:  I could not agree more. It was all about individual performance. Was Gio rusty?  Oh yeah, but he still served Alan Pulido for a perfect cross that led to the lone goal. The player that I believe is making a push to be considered in the starting XI vs Costa Rica is Orbelin Pineda. The Chivas youngster has been superb wearing stripes and green over the past six months.  He might be the best Mexican on the planet right now.

The lack of scoring from the goal generators was a little disquieting heading into Hex.3, but Carlos Vela, Tecatito, and Chicharito all appear to be catching fire at the right time. Hernandez was the most worrisome, but it looks like he had some extra motivation.

 

Joely:  Cheech definitely regained his mojo: scoring on and off the field. He now has three goals in two games with Leverkusen and will be celebrating this Valentines with Thalia’s niece Camila Sodi, who used to be married to Rogue One’s  Cassian Andor! The timing for Mexican strikers to step up their game couldn’t have been better. They should all be in peak form for when the Hexagonal resumes in March.

 

 

https://twitter.com/CH14_/status/831456884410478594

awwwwwww

JJ:  Overall it was a good weekend for Chivas fans: their favorite son scored a brace with two excellent volleys, and later that day, the sacred herd reminded Atlas that Mariachis sing about Guadalajara, not académicos.

If I were an Atlas fan…. I should just stop right there.

Since they won’t be winning any championships any time soon, the only possibility of any kind of bragging rights that Atlas fans have is winning the Tapatio. And they can’t even do that right.

Things will get worse for Atlas before they get better.  They will be mired in the relegation muck next season. The new bosses have proven the only thing they can do is pay the players on time.

Atlas is, has been, and always will be a mess. They are the Clippers and Jets rolled in to one sad, sad, team.

As a Chivas fan, I can’t even think that this game is even on your radar.

 

Joely:  Absolutely Yon, if I were Chiva management I would have already released a statement claiming that Chivas no longer considers Atlas rivals and therefore are nullifying the Clasico Tapatio.  Chivas can just wait around for Tecos or Leones Negros if they want a derby.

Good thing they have worthy rivals in America. Despite the Aguilas poor form I wouldn’t count them out for this weeks Super Clasico. A win here would do much to get them out of the ‘Crisis’ they are in. Chiva are favorites but I would be feeling better if the match was at Azteca. My one complaint with the Goat-in-Chief Matias Almeyda is that the team doesn’t have a strong home field advantage. Even in games where the team gets penalty kicks and plays up a man they fail to win. I’m predicting a draw here.

 

JJ: It is a shame that Guadalajara cannot turn their home stadium into a Citadel. And I am still dumbfounded that Chivas fans waste the chance to sing the most iconic Mexican song when things are going their way. Instead they cheer ole ole ole chivas chivas. Pathetic!!

I am liking the way Chivas is playing, but America needs a win. It should be a good one.

We might have to have a live gentlemen’s chat during the match. And we will definitely dissect, blame, praise and ridicule next week.

 

Joely:  Sounds like a plan Yon!

 

Catch John and Joel every Wednesday on the CantinaMX Podcast live on youtube at 9pm CT, or on itunes.

Follow Joel on twitter @joelyaceves

Follow John on twitter @jjagou

 

Mexican Coaches Making a Statement – Gentlemen’s Agreement

The latest Gentlemen’s Agreement has arrived.  In this edition, CantinaMX Podcast host John Jagou, and FutMexNation Columnist Joel Aceves discuss the early success from unexpected sources.  And the Gentlemen explain the Azteca myth and why it might be time to play elsewhere.  As always, the Gentlemen recommend a fine sipping Tequila as an adequate enhancement to this column.

 

John Jagou:  Joel, The LigaMX Clasura17 season is month old, and who would have guessed to see Pumas and Santos near the top of the table, joining last season’s table toppers, Xolos?

 

Joel Aceves:  Yon, I am glad to see that the top three teams are being coached by Mexican’s and they are doing it without having had to break the piggy bank to build their squads. Of the three we can say Xolo’s is the least surprising. They finished last season in first place. At the other end we have the Apertura 2016 finalists Tigres and America having a difficult time as we had predicted.

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Foreigners in Mexican Soccer, why?

Why is the Mexican League is full of South American players from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and other countries? Recently Matias Almeyda made some comments about this, so lets analyze and expound.

Matias Almeyda, Chivas head coach, stated what we have all heard before and what we have specifically talked about on the CantinaMX podcast. That foreign players are brought in and take the starting spots of up and coming or even established Mexican players. This in turn hurts the National team and Mexican players in general. There may be Mexican players that don’t get a chance and get passed up from making it big in Mexico and even ending up abroad.

Almeyda faults the Foreign coaches in Mexico that are hired instead of Mexican coaches, who in turn look to bring in foreign talent.

A great example is just recently Club America brought in a 19 year old Costa Rican player, Gerson Torres. Is he a big name? An impact player that will change America for the positive? Many may not even have heard of him. Could a Mexican player have been given a chance? Possibly.

When I think of America, I think of big signings. They could be South American or Central American, but big names, who would start and be expected to score goals and even win titles. The supporting players can be Mexican, with a few star Mexican players as well. No need to flood Mexico with subpar foreigners, when there are plenty of Mexican players already that need the chance to play so they can break out and hopefully do good things.

Why does Mexico go for foreign coaches and then players?

So this is the question. I believe that the mindset in Mexico, is that of looking at history and World Football. Argentina, Brazil and CONMEBOL as a whole is a powerhouse. They have won World Cup titles, there are coaches out of these countries who are highly praised. If one is to learn soccer and how to improve, we must emulate and follow these countries. Mexico has done this. Fans emulate and copy Argentina fan chants and songs. Mexico execs, see this as well and try to bring in the biggest names from South America as they can. If it were easier to get European coaches or players, that would be the same case. A flood of Europeans would be welcomed to help improve our Mexican soccer.

Take Andre-Pierre Gignac for example. He is beloved and brought titles to Tigres. Mexican’s name their kids after him. Tigres went further and brought in fellow frenchman, Andy Delort, into Tigres.

The point is clubs are out to win and confidence is held in foreigners and not the Mexican. Foreigners from Argentina and Brazil know how to win in soccer and have loads of good players. Mexico has won nothing. Mexicans are just barely breaking into Europe on a larger scale.

Take even the press for example. We have the wanna-be Spaniard heading up shows like Futbol Picante and cracking jokes on the other panelists. One of the biggest targets and butt of jokes is Hector Huerta, if you have ever watched the show.

In summary, there is a mindset in Mexico that has to be overcome. The Mexican player has to overcome and play through these obstacles. Chivas is a huge part of it. Chicharito broke through via Chivas and may not have in another club where foreigners were in place.

Hopefully some rule changes can help push this change along. The National team may depend on it after this “golden generation” passes.

 

Is 2017 the Year Chivas Win it all? – The Gentlemen’s Agreement

 

It is back for 2017! In this edition of the Gentlemen’s agreement CantinaMX Podcast host, John Jagou, and CantinaMX Barfly & Futmexnation.com contributor, Joel Aceves return from the Delphic Oracle to give their interpretation of what they heard from Pythia about what to expect in 2017.

And when we say Pythia, we mean Paquita, the local bartender.

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Ep. 63: CantinaMX Futbol Podcast – Liguilla Semis are set. Goats cry!

QEPDFirst: Thoughts and prayers go to all those who have passed in Brazil, their families, friends and all affected.

 

An exciting Weekend of Futbol has just passed and we discuss the events on a Monday late night podcast. It has also been announced that we have changed our name. This is now the CantinaMX Futbol Podcast. Let’s hope a bar fight don’t break out.

In this episode, we talk America win over Chivas. Tigres and Gignac, back in the groove. Sad flute time for Pumas. Much more!

Lineup Prediction: Chicharito not Likely to Start in Qualifier Against US

Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio has declared he is looking to offset the US’s notable size advantage. For Javier Hernandez, this means a return to his super-sub role which won him many fans over during his Manchester United stint. SL Benfica’s Raul Jimenez will get the nod instead.

 

Osorio and Mexico Captain Rafa Marquez have stated Mexico will break the trend in Columbus. Mexico is expected to take the game to the US and put pressure on the American backline. Osorio will trust the dynamic and creative players Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona, Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos. Linking up-top with them is Jimenez whose physical presence will be a direct threat to the US backline.

 

mexico-3313

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osorio’s Mexico will go Guns Ablazing.

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Chivas is the greatest! Fuera Nacho! Why am I YELLING?!

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 2.40.01 PMAmerica loses 3-0 to Chivas in the Clasico Nacional. Chivas brings Alan Pulido to the Sacred Herd. Chivas is going to win it all right? LigaMX champs, CopaMX champs, then maybe a CCL or Libertadores? This is the super team in Mexico right now.

As far as America, well, they are in a crisis. Nacho Ambriz is getting upset with reporters, saying he will quit if he doesn’t get a title this year. Fans outside Coapa are protesting and yelling, “Fuera Ambriz”. America is going down hill right?

Calm down a second, big fella. Didn’t Chivas just lose a few weeks ago 4-0 to Xolos? Wasn’t America favored by many to win the Clasico Nacional because of their tremendous individual talent. All of a sudden all this changed? I don’t think so!

Let’s look at the Clasico Nacional. Chivas came out running like crazy, hustling to gain posession and go on the attack. Their movements worked out perfectly against America. Their passing was probably the best they have had all season. Everything worked out, every 50/50 ball, every deflection was in favor of Chivas. This game definitely went Chivas’ way, but would that always be the case. Are they now expected to win their next 5 games in a row? How long until they come back to reality, even with Pulido?

I would go as far to say, the Chivas win was a glitch in the Matrix. An Anomaly. America has the talent to do better, Chivas has been underperforming and supposedly doesn’t have any goal scoring strikers. People are surprised and worried that the National team has to now call the likes of Chivas striker, Saldivar. My question is, who would win in a 7 game series between Chivas and America. Sure that is far fetched, but in the NBA this is done to determine a true winner, that can not just win a fluke game, but endure a series of competitions.

If this were to take place, I would have to say that America wins a best of 7.

Point of this post is that we need to calm our britches. Be measured in our analysis of these results. There are still games to be played and lost or won.

I understand it is hard, when you have people like Vergara saying that Chivas is now rounding out to be the best team in Mexico. Calm down Jorge!

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