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.

 

 

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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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Carlos Salcedo: “I felt swindled”

In a recent interview, as seen below, Carlos Salcedo admits legal problems with his Sister and other financial problems he has had, even with his Mother.

He says, he felt swindled, when referring to properties, economic and even threats against his career. Carlos says he has put a stop to it and has made a separation with them. He is focused on his career in Fiorentina and wants to excel in Europe.

What are your thoughts on this news? Can family sometimes be a distraction and maybe not always look out for your best interest, when it comes to baller status money making?

His interview, in Spanish:

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.

 

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Osorio’s Mexico will go Guns Ablazing.

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Gentlemen’s Agreement – Is Raul Jimenez up to the Challenge

gentlemenIn yet another edition of the Gentlemen’s agreement, the aforementioned swaddled some cognac, lit some cohibas, and dug in to a rather lackluster start to the Liga MX season, among other topics.  Pour yourself a cognac and join in the fun.

 

John Jagou:  Joel, Chivas TV made its regular season debut and it was not terrible, according to the 20 people that watched it. I am sure that Liga MX was thrilled that one of their marquee games of the season was so readily available. But it may not be such a bad thing, because the quality of play from the first two weeks across the league, as my high society Spanish friends would say, ha sido paupérrimo.  The fans have noticed as well.  Attendance has been well below average

 

Joel Aceves:  Yon, the poor start of the Apertura, with very few goals to boot, was to be expected given the early start of the season. Seems like many teams are still on pre-season form. My beloved Goats are even playing a friendly game against Arsenal this Thursday. That said, I was trying to track Chivas TV numbers but have been unsuccessful. I’ve only managed to find estimates. Those being that for every 1 Chiva fan watching the clubs stream in Mexico there will be 20 Americanistas watching their club on television. The reports talk about Chivas TV having 500,000 people watching their stream compared to 10 million for free T.V. The numbers for the Tshirt presentation were at 190k and that was free. We must also add that Chivas TV reported that 46% of the people that watched their match against Monterrey were Rayado fans. Then there are the numerous complaints about the streaming qualities with the image freezing and the delayed sound.

Not all is lost though. Chivas owner Jorge Vergara already saidt hat if Chivas makes the league final the match will be on television. However, I am guessing that if Chivas TV streaming doesn’t pick up, as they are already offering 2 games for 1 specials, if they make the playoffs, their games will be shown on Television. Read more

SOCCER CHRONICLE’S TOP 5 PLAYERS MISSING COPA AMERICA CENTENARIO

 

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Neymar da Silva Santos Junior – Brazil

Brazil’s biggest star and most internationally lauded player will be the tournament’s biggest absence. The FC Barcelona forward was only allowed to participate in one tournament this summer. The Brazilian football federation decided that would be the 2016 Rio Olympics – with the gold medal being the only prize missing from the Selecao’s impressive coffers. Neymar’s 46 goals in 70 appearances for the Pentacampeao will be missed as will a potential encounter against rivals Argentina guided by Barcelona teammate Messi.

 

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

It is time for another edition of the gentlemen’s agreement.  In this installment soccerchronicle.com ‘s John Jagou and futmexsource.com 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.

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Weekend at Joely’s

In the first of what will surely be a series of captivating installments, Soccerchronicle.com columinists John Jagou and Joel Aceves will publish their weekly conversation. The first of edition of this new feature, Weekend at Joely’s, expands on a topic that they both discussed on the dos a zero futbol podcast, the decision by FMF to limit Liga MX gameday rosters with only 8 Mexican nationals.

John Jagou:  Earlier this week, FMF decided to “limit” the number of foreign and naturalized players to 10 per convocación, which would only leave room for 8 natural born Mexicans to dress for a game. What do you think the motivation was for FMF to do this?

 

Joel Aceves:  It’s all about ratings. The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) is run by two competing media conglomerates whose main interest is selling the product of futbol. That said, the availability of football from the world’s top leagues makes FMF believe that in order to maintain fan interest they need to bring in high profile players.  That makes sense but the reality is for every Gignac we get 30 Fantiks.  FMF is foolhardy to believe that a Mexican kid will watch Champions League, La Liga, EPL, then go to Liga MX stadium and be bored. They completely overlook the cultural aspect of the sport and the fact that only a handful of Euroclubs play consistently exciting games. While that same kid can watch Barcelona on tv he still won’t get the excitement that comes with going to the stadium, being part of the club that represents your community and feel pride at their achievements.

 

JJ:  It doesn’t seem to make sense, though. Mexico’s structure, at least at the U-Level for the national team has enjoyed unprecedented success over the past 10 years.  It would seem logical, then that the FMF and the member clubs would give the youngsters as many opportunities as possible to see how much better they can become. Limiting the player pool to 154, while allowing 170 spots to foreigners or naturalized players, when we take it face value, seems to be a very quick way to throw away all the progress that has been made.

Now, there are some who will argue that you can’t just give a player a spot, he has to earn it. And there is plenty of truth to that. If a kid beats out the veterans and foreigners, then there is no question that he is a special talent. But there are so many who don’t really blossom until later in their careers – mainly because their limited opportunities stunted their growth. Oribe is a perfect example.  How many others make their top level debut after the age of 24?  Too many.

 

JA:  I absolutely agree with you that this new rule does not make sense but we have been seeing it since the 05 U17 World Cup win. Very few players since then have gotten opportunities despite the constant success at the youth levels. It almost feels like Liga MX despises their own talent. A few years back the league had implemented the brilliant 20-11 rule, which guaranteed youngsters playing time, and clubs fought tooth and nail to get it removed. It also becomes difficult for Mexican upstarts to compete for a first team place given the short season format that demands instant results. So, clubs would rather bet on a 2nd rate foreigner than nurture their own talent.

As a Chivas fan, I can already see some of the adverse effects the increased amount of foreigners in the league is causing. The club has a very difficult time in the transfer market as there are fewer quality local players available. Chivas desperately needs a striker for next season. A quick look at Liga MXs top 10 goalscorers shows us that there’s only one Mexican player, ironically its Oribe the late bloomer who plays for the dreaded rival, America. He is on the wrong side 30, so his career is winding down. Ideally there should be 3-4 Mexicans on that list and its worrisome that having very little presence is a non-issue for the league.

 

JJ:  Frankly, it is not surprising that there are so few Mexicans among the top scorers. Clubs tend to shop internationally for strikers almost exclusively.  But back to Chivas; the club has a small pool to pick from, and then also has to pay a premium for talent as well because of their personnel policies. The answer for Chivas, at a minimum, is to heavily invest in their youth system. But with Jorge Vergara changing coaches every time he feels a breeze cool his rosy cheeks, he continually sabotages his most sustainable method of talent acquisition.

A lot of this foreign influence also has to do with promoters (which I quite haven’t figured out how different they are from agents) who have embedded themselves in certain teams. They will make more money, no doubt. The bright spot, though, is Pachuca. Their youth system has become Mexico’s most productive. They won the U17 and the U20 Champs this season and are not afraid to give young players chances. There should be more like them, but with this new rule, the incentive is not to make the investment in the future. It is a shame, there are a lot of talented youngsters with nowhere to go.

 

JA:  Pachuca are indeed a good example that it is possible to nurture talent and have foreigners. In addition to their youth success, Tuzos finished the season 2nd in the table. But this is the exception, not the rule.  With the wheels are already in motion for most clubs to easily build up squads with foreign born players, Liga MX will soon mirror the English Premier League with matches having 1-3 nationals on the field.

 

JJ:  Exactly. I guess that is the existential question FMF needs to ask itself. “Do we sacrifice our own identity to make a move that we think will make our league better? Do we improve Liga MX at the expense of the Mexican player?”

England has a top flight, entertaining league that is popular all over the world. England’s national team has made 2 semifinals in international tournaments over the past 50 years. One would think that England would look to the Continent for inspiration, but why would the foreign owners of EPL teams care if the 3 Lions did well at a World Cup? What is their motivation?  On the other hand, Germany was humiliated in 2004 by crashing out of the group stage of the Eurocopa. They committed to overhaul their entire youth and development structure to limit the chances of a repeat performance. I say, so far so good. Italy did the same after their 2010 fracaso. It is true that the Italian league has suffered and may not be as strong as others in Europe, but they have also committed to strengthening the player pool. We will probably start seeing if they were successful or not soon.

One thing none of these countries have, though, is a rule that forces them to play locals like the new FMF rule. But they are also in the EU, so I guess it is moot. Nevertheless, Mexican players may need to start looking elsewhere to make a living.

 

JA:  On that note Major League Soccer must be licking their chops with all the possibilities that will open to them. They have always gone after Mexican talent given the large Mexican community in the U.S and for the most part have been unsuccessful. Either the aging star is burned out or the younger player never adapts. We’ve seen a shift in this however with Giovani Dos Santos joining the league in his prime. We’ve also seen relative unknown youngsters rise up to get called into the national team or return to Mexico with Erik ‘Cubo’ Torres and Carlos Salcedo being prime examples.

So, it is a very good possibility that we will see more and more young Mexican talent flourishing in MLS, being capped for youth national team, and then either going abroad or returning to Mexico.

 

JJ:  They should be licking their chops, and, coincidentally, MLS commissioner, Don Garber, spoke to the Mexican press about his desire to bring in more Mexican talent into the league. It makes nothing but sense. The demographics of the MLS fan base indicate as much. Not to mention the fact that MLS hopes to expand to 28 teams. 28 teams!  There are a lot of roster spots available to fill the 8 new franchises. I am not so sure the NCAA system can fill it all. The irony of a situation where MLS catches up competitively to Liga MX because of Mexican players would be at worst… delicious.

 

JA:  John, are you telling me that Liga MX is about to turn into a bargain bin of young talent for MLS and some of the Euro leagues?  And can such a move be a blessing in disguise provided many players go abroad and succeed?

 

JJ:  I certainly can envision a future where Mexican players can establish a beachhead in MLS. Colombians, Ecuadorians, and Paraguayans have done the same in Mexico for decades.  Mainly because Liga MX has always been an importer’s league. If you look at the historical superstars of most teams, a good chunk of them were foreign born players. There is nothing wrong with that. But with the new rule in place, I suppose Liga MX is trying to become more of a global brand. It would help immensely if Gignac has the Euro of his life.

But it will still be hard for Mexican players to make the jump to Europe from either MLS or Liga MX.  They are still, even today, unproven in the European market. Yes, there are a few players who are making a name for themselves. Compare a dozen or so Mexicans to hundreds of Brazilians, Argentines, even Uruguayans.

 

JA:  That’s the Tricolor fallacy right there; believing that having a dozen players in Europe is enough to truly compete against the top national teams. It is not.  Not by a longshot.  The one thing all of those countries have in common is a very strong and competitive domestic league where their players can flourish. Looking at the last 3 World Cup champions (Germany, Spain, Italy) they all had squads with a core group of players that play for the same home club. It is something we have talked about in the Dos a Zero podcast.

 

JJ:  Those three national teams benefited from having a strong base from 1 or 2 clubs. With the new regulations in place in Liga MX, it would take a very special group of players to even take the field, much less translate that on a national team level. Maybe Chivas will be the answer one day…

 

JA:  Hopefully someday soon.

 

JJ:  Well, don’t get your hopes up.  Haha!  It has been fun, Joely.  We’ll do this again next week.

 

JA:  Hasta la proxima

 

Be sure to tune in to the dos a zero futbol podcast special Liguilla editions.  Next one will be Sunday at the Conclusion of the Pachuca-Santos match

Follow us on twitter

@jjagou

@joelyaceves

Giovanni scores 2 to lead the LA Galaxy past Houston Dynamo 4-1

This game started out quickly as Houston made a nice play off a corner kick which eventually ends up on the head of David Horst who scores the first goal of the game in the 1st minute. The Dynamo lead was not long lived as in the 4th minute a deep ball gets caught up between 2 Dynamo defenders and bounces off to Giovanni Dos Santos who puts it past goalkeeper Joe Willis to make it 1-1.

Later in the 21st minute a steal in the midfield leads to a run down the left flank by Giovanni who puts a nice cross that the GK Joe Willis fails to properly clear and it ends free, in the box for Husidic to put it in easily. The Galaxy were on fire and had all cylinders running at this point. The defense really shutdown all the spaces and did not allow the forwards to gain any kind of possession. The midfielders for Houston couldn’t maintain control of the ball or establish forward momentum as well.

In the 31st minute Gerard sends a nice long pass from right to left, and Giovanni has a nice 1st touch to setup his right foot for a shot and goal from just inside the box. Could Giovanni be back? All signs were pointing at a possible hat-trick, but it was not to be. The final Galaxy goal came from Zardes in the 48th minute, by way of a nice cross from the right side by Lletget’s cross.

Dynamo Coach, Owen Coyle would insert 3 subs in the 57th minute to change things up, one of them being Cubo Torres. The Dynamo would shift the game a bit in their favor later in the game. They would generate some good chances. Cubo Torres and Miranda were key in holding some good possession up top as well as getting some chances at goal. Unfortunately for the home crowd, a Dynamo goal was not in the cards.

I was able to ask LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena what he thought of the 3 simultaneous subs made by the Dynamo and he said it was a good move and that they brought some energy to the game and nearly made it an exciting ending.

In the locker room, Cubo Torres, gave some insightful comments on his play in the game, the National Team and his future activity with the Dynamo. ESPN FC’s Nayib Moran asked some good questions on his relationship with the Dynamo Manager and the possibility of future playing time, as well as his thoughts on the Mexico call up with the U-23 and Olympic team. I asked him how close he felt to scoring his first goal with the team and how he felt his movement was during the game going up against a tough and big defense in the Belgian center back, Van Damm. Listen to his comments in Spanish:

It was an entertaining match. Giovanni is making his way back and it will be exciting to see if he can regain his form to gain a spot with the Mexican National Team. Also, Cubo Torres, getting some playing time, even in defeat, is a good start and preparation for his U-23/Olympic squad participation.

Join us in further discussion on the Dos A Zero podcast, broadcasting live every Wednesday night at 9PM Central time. Follow us on Twitter for all the details to listen @DosAZeroPodcast!!!

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