Ep. 31: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – Rafa’s comments, Osorio to Colombia y mas!

Rafa hides
Hello fans. We are back with a Rafa packed podcast, analyzing and discussing the latest comments made by Rafa during a press conference. We have back and forth discussion on wether he was out of line or not. Rafa stated that there is no comparison between Clasicos in Spain/France vs Guadalajara. We take this discussion into the “yo estoy en Europa y tu no” topic. Is Rafa an arrogant fresa, belittling Mexico and Guadalajara, or is he justified by his salty opinion?

I guess you know a bit of what I think. 😉

Ep. 30: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – Chivas on a streak, Article 19, and foreigners in Mexico.

Omar BravoIn Episode 30 we discussed the Chivas streak of wins and if they can maintain this or will they eventually begin to lose and do nothing in Liguilla. We also give some input on this whole FIFA article 19 news on the protection of children in youth transfers. Finally we discuss the foreigners in Mexico, be it coaches or players. Are foreigners expected to have more success than Mexican coaches. What are the differences? This and more on The Dos a Zero podcast!

Tune in every Wednesday night at 9pm central time..

Chivas win streak continues

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PUEBLA, MEXICO. Chivas Guadalajara continued their winning streak outclassing Puebla FC 3 – 0. This is the 3rd win in row and 4th straight away win. Making their away record 3 wins, 2 draws and a loss. With this win the Rojiblancos move to the 8th spot for liguilla purpose and are mathematically close to staving off relegation.

Chivas honcho Matias Almeyda stated “And with this result people will say ‘Chivas is a contender’ the primary objective, which has been meet, is for Chivas to not descend.”

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Ep. 29: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – Chivas are back? Spanish Clasico and Ame vs Tigres.

necaxaCR7A fun show with some good talk on the state of Chivas and their recent success. Are they back and will they be a challenge the remaining of the season. America used to be in crisis, now they are in the final of the CCL. Tigres has been surpassed by rival, Monterrey, in league standings but proceed to CCL final in an impressive matchup vs America. We even talk about US Womens wage dispute and drama. Tune in for good footy talk and some fun moments.

Ep. 26: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – Post Clasico discussion, Pre El Tri list and more

In this Dos A Zero podcast, episode 26, we discuss what happened with the Clasico Nacional and the good effort put on by Chivas. We also discuss El Tri and the upcoming Qualifiers with Canada. John Jagou will be in Canada covering the game and I will be in the stands in the Estadio Azteca. Saludos!

Los “4 Grandes” All Win… Really

With a name like the “4 Grandes”, one would think that news of them winning should not be something to write about.  Well, they did win.  And they all won on the same weekend.  Again, you ask “what’s the big deal?  These are the premiere teams, the flagship clubs, the most powerful and popular clubs in Liga MX.  They are used to winning and winning championships.  So WTF, John?”

Well, let me tell you.

Yes, the big 4 won this past weekend.  America dispatched Leon at the Azteca 2-1

 

while Guadalajara surprised league leaders Monterrey in the tamalera 3-1.  A guy by the name of “la chofis” scored a riveting brace.

Cruz Azul made Atlas look so bad, favorite son Rafael Marquez begged forgiveness from the largest RednBlack supporters group, Barra 51 (named after the last year they won a league title).

After giving up an early goal, Pumas put together a 4 goal spurt to down Monarcas.

 

causing a butterfly to cry in a post-game TV interview.

The big deal is not that they won.  It is that they all had wins in the same matchday.  Something that had not happened in 4 years.  4 years.   Not very big 4-like.  We have to go back to Matchday 9 of the 2012 Clausura to see the last time this happened.

In those 4 years, Club America has certainly had the best run.  A couple of League titles and a CONCACAF trophy have restored order (if you ask any Americanista) to the world.  Cruz Azul and Pumas each have lost a final in that time frame, while Chivas has been in the wilderness, losing games and going through coaches and front office types like a tourist who eat too much street food goes through a roll of toilet paper.

 

The current table has them in the following positions:

  • 3. America       21 pts      +7
  • 5. Cruz Azul     18 pts      +7
  • 9. Pumas         15 pts      +2
  • 12. Chivas       12 pts        0

The 8th place team, Tijuana has 16 pts, so it is conceivable that with 6 dates left, all four sides could make the post-season.  When was the last time that happened? The 2011 Clausura, which coincidentally was won by Pumas – another opportunity to make the Butterflies cry…

Listen to the dos a zero podcast every Wednesday at 9:00PM CDT.

Follow me on twitter @jjagou

Clásico Nacional Wins the Ratings Battle

darwinIn a time when cable channels are losing subscribers to all manner of other content providers, there is one recently launched channel that is squashing the current narrative and proving to be a major success story:  Univision Deportes Network.

Launched earlier in the decade, the channel took its time to take root, as one would expect.  But carriage agreements with major carriers has been key.  Additional distribution for Univision Deportes Network has been one of the main reasons Univision has reported quarterly profits over the past year, so it is easy to see why network programmers have been steadily moving their sports properties off the over the air channels, Univision and UniMas.

The ratings for the Club America win over their arch rival Guadalajara have been announced.  And the broadcast took all other soccer games to the woodshed

For those who are math disabled, the Cremas-Cabras Clásico has 6 times the audience of the nationally broadcast MLS games, and nearly 4 times the audience of one of the US’ most popular sides, Manchester United, and their draw with the hammers in the FA Cup.

The ratings may have been even higher were it not for a carriage dispute between AT&T and Univision.  Those folks on U-Verse did not get to see America’s 2-0 win at all.

It would have been unspeakable just a few years ago to air the biggest, most important match of the Liga MX calendar on anything other than Univision, but the runaway success of UDN has changed the paradigm.  The momentum will carry through, at least through the summer as Copa America will also air on the Univision family of networks.

Despite the great news, it is not all flowers and sunshine for Univision, However. Telemundo outbid Univision for the rights to the World Cup starting in 2018.  Telemundo will have very large shoes to fill.  UDN’s coverage of Brazil14 was easily the most comprehensive (and best) in the history of US televison.

 

Listen to the dos a zero podcast every Wednesday at 9:00PM CDT.

Follow me on twitter @jjagou

Psychoanalysis of the Club America vs Chivas Super Clasico

What a fun game for an indifferent Pumas fan. So let’s begin.

Paul Aguilar StompThe game starts out very well for Chivas. The showed heart and hustle as an obvious underdog, battling relegation. It is a sign of a good attitude in the locker room to motivate a team that has been struggling, to step it up against their greatest rival. Who knows if it was Almeyda or Captian Omar Bravo who motivated them, but they came out with energy and on the attack. Even amidst negativity in the media, gossip about Gullit drinking, and relegation. In times like this, a team can come out half hearted or beaten before the game begins, or battle back as an underdog. Chivas came out as the latter.

Chivas attacking paid off and Conejo Brizuela got a goal in the 23rd minute, however it was called off. There was no dispute that he was offsides and that the goal should not have counted. The problem is with the side line ref, in that he hesitated to make the call and had to meet with the head ref to talk and call back the goal after the fact. This can play an issue in the mind of the Chivas players. The goal was scored, a whistle was not blown and Brizuela celebrated with his teammates as he pointed to the heavens. It is a glorious moment to have scored against your arch enemy. Then imagine how Brizuela and Chivas feel after it is ripped away from them. It has to be saddening and depressing. Again Chivas would have to dig deep and self motivate their mind and body to continue playing. This seemed to be the case, but you could tell there was a drop in play. America gained their composure and was able to get more possession and opportunities for attack.

We now know America scored 2 great goals, to take a commanding lead. This again can put a psychological burden on a down and out Chivas team. They still, however, battled and did not give up. They were running on pure passion.

So let’s talk passion. Passion is what brings fans to the stadium. Passion and love for their teams is what makes people yell, cheer and be loyal even through hard times. The deep desire to win is what motivates Chivas or America players to run hard after a ball. And Yes, sadly it can motivate fans to throw obscenities and even objects at the opposing team. It is no surprise to see this happen. Yes it is ugly, but these fans have passion. It may not be properly focused but it is passion. It is this same passion that would make Santos fans insult the Mexican NT hero Giovanni Dos Santos. Even a Chivas fan who threw a cup of beer at CONCACAF Cup hero Paul Aguilar and hit him in the back.

This passion even exists for players to do whatever it takes to win or get an advantage. Paul Aguilar has passion in the instances where he gets stomped on in the corner and proceeds to flop around like Pikolin did in last year’s Liguilla. His goal was fulfilled as the Chivas player got red carded and America took the advantage. He did the same later, when the cup of beer hit his back and he rolled around some more. He want’s to win and this is the type of things that sometimes needs to be done. Is it hated, yes, but it will continue to happen. Just like beers will continue to fly, so lets get over it.

Finally, to touch on a word that is commonly used in spanish, Ardido. This means rustled, upset, salty or many other adjectives that could be used to describe Omar Bravo near the end of the game. You could tell he was frustrated and in one instance he got hacked, fell to the ground and the America player got sent off. He then proceeds to run away and heads straight to Sambueza and hits him chest to chest. This was of course purposefully done as he was heated in the moment. Luckily he did not get carded himself, because he was carrying a yellow previously. This “rustle” on the part of Omar Bravo could have cost him the concentration and cool head he needed in later opportunities he had to score, but failed.

So the mind, emotions can play a huge part in Futbol. This type of passion, energy and competitiveness is what makes this Clasico the best in Mexico. Yes even greater than the Clasico Regio, which may have better teams that are higher on the table, the Clasico Nacional has more on the line, for fans and players.

Ep. 22: Dos a Zero Futbol Podcast – CopaMX, Libertadores, Messi/CR7 and more.

yameritoChivasWe had a fun show talking about a wide range of Footy topics, such as the Messi penalty “controversy”, CopaMX and Libertadores games as well as the Osorio/Giovanni visit.

On the Messi penalty, we talked both sides of if the “provoking” Messi penalty, as well as CR7 comments about the great MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar).

Some panelists also rejoiced as Chivas got a CopaMX win vs Leones Negros. Also Toluca came out strong winning their initial Libertadores game.

It was a lot of fun, check it out…

¡Ay Chivas!

Chivas is in no danger of being relegated… this year.  But the toxic cloud of dropping to the lesser divisions has inexplicably spilled into next season as well.  And there is no guarantee that the newly promoted team next season will be as awful as Dorados has been this season.

And that means that Chivas might actually have to show  a real sense of urgency to avoid the most humiliating of fates:  becoming the most popular team in Liga Ascenso.

That sense of urgency that one would normally expect to find when a traditional power finds itself anchored down by the spectre of relegation has been MIA at Chivas central for the better part of the last 3 years.  It was front and center for former Mexico coach, Chepo de la Torre.  He knew how high the stakes were and managed risk accordingly.  He got Chivas to the semis in the C15 liguilla, but started slowly in the A15.  Too slowly for Vergara.  maa¡¡So he brought in an Argentine relegation “fixer” in Mathias Almeida.  The results have actually been worse.

There have been some interesting player additions, including a couple of members of Mexico 2014 World Cup side. But neither Isaac Brizuela or Carlos “Gullit” Peña have made the impact one would expect for the transfer fees Chivas paid.  Gullit has become the latest scapegoat for Chivas’ woes.  He had a bad game against his former team, Leon, yesterday in Chivas’ 1-0 loss;  the same Leon team that Gullit never wanted to leave and had to be dragged away kicking and screaming.

“We’ve bottomed out,” a beaten down Almeida said yesterday in the post game presser. If dropping points at home is the cardinal sin of a team in the drop zone, then Chivas has been a staple a the weekly confessional because they have not won at home since September.  How can that happen?

Teams don’t fall apart overnight, and Chivas is no different.  So how did this happen, Chivas fans?  I have my theories…

  • No stability or continuity in the coaching ranks or front office. 

How many coaches and or general managers has Chivas trotted out over the past few years?  Exactly

  • Selling Chicharito without a back-up planchich manu

It may have been good business, and Chicharito has taken full advantage of the opportunity afforded to him.  But Chivas is still paying the price for not having an adequate plan to replace their homegrown superstar.

 

 

  • Omnilife Stadium construction drained the club’s cash reserves

A lot of people, me included, poked fun at Vergara for his avarice in not signing players even with having to pay a premium.  Turns out he may not have had the cash to spend anyway. If you believe the rumors, budgeted costs severely underestimated the actual costs.  And you wondered why the first playing surface was made of plastic.

  • Le divorce

No need to explain this one

  • Swinging and missing on player movement

CHIVAS-LUIS-PEREZ-Y-MARQUEZPlease name a player that has been brought in in the past 5 years that has made a significant impact on the side.  When you do, ask for the blue guy, you know, the one holding his breath.

  • Terrible PR moves

Granted, this really does not have that much bearing whether or not Chivas drops, but here are just 2 brilliant PR moves that Chivas has made over the past few years.

Announcing a press conference to introduce a newly signed player — you the fan.  Denying FMF access to Chivas players for a non-sanctioned friendly only to lose anyway.

  • Vergara’s arrogance and unrealistic expectations

This always gets play in the press, but it is more of a deflection of Chivas’ current state than anything else.  His team has proved over the past 10 years that it is mediocre at best —  so why pretend like it is better than it really is?

Chivas will not be relegated this season, but instability in the front office, poor personnel moves, a coaching carousel, and uncertainty of team ownership, and a consistently under-performing roster of players means that Chivas may be looking at one maybe 2 more seasons of walking the tightrope.

Next season, they may not have a Dorados to break their fall.

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