Ep. 82: CantinaMX Futbol Podcast – Higuera, Chivas and late LigaMXvMLS talk

Episode 82 and we were podcasting while Chivas was working to get a tie vs Morelia, but won on PKs. We discussed mostly the Higuera visit that he paid to Spicy Soccer. The ChivasTV failure, Gentlemans pact, his Hugo diss, and more.

We also discussed some MLS v LigaMX talk towards the end of the show.

Hope you enjoy.

Also congrats to all you Chivas fans out there. LOL. CopaMX Champs!

¡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.

No more non FIFA date friendlies?

pikolinNext week Mexico will play the Senegal National Team in Miami, in what surely can be classified as a “Partido Molero”. Wednesday, February 10th is not a FIFA date and we will not see the top Mexican players in Miami. The Mexicans playing in Europe will not be called up, so we will have to enjoy seeing an abundance of LigaMX players.

We may even get the pleasure of seeing the great Pumas goalkeeper, Pikolin Palacios! In an Interview with Fernando Schwartz and Valeria Marin, Jorge Vergara brought up a good point about these types of games in the US. He mentioned and approved of the idea of not having friendlies in the US that are not on FIFA dates. This would mean all friendlies in the US would showcase the Mexican stars playing in Europe, such as Chicharito, Guardado, etc. The games would be entertaining and the fans would get their moneys worth.

It would also mean that new up and comers may never get a chance to put on the “verde”. Players like Alejandro Palacios and others, who we may be able to see next Wednesday, but possibly never in any real tournament such as Copa Oro or Copa America, much less the World Cup. However, is it right to take away the illusion of representing their country, even if it for just a meaningless friendly?

The fact is Chivas is in danger of relegation and giving up players for a “meaningless” friendly could put the team in further problems, especially if injuries occur. It looks like Vergara and Chivas will only offer up Carlos Salcedo, who is suspended anyways from week 5 LigaMX play.

So while no longer playing non FIFA date friendlies may seem like a good idea to some, such as Chivas, in their state of distress, there may be many LigaMX players who would love to put on the El Tri jersey, even if it is only for a few times. As far as the Mexican fans in the US, there are many who will be more than happy to pay high prices for tickets to attend these games, even without the likes of Chicharito or Tecatito.

The Federation will also be happy with a nice increase in the size of their pocketbooks.

Soccer Chronicle will be onsite in Miami covering the game, so stay tuned to our twitter feed for videos, pictures and news from the game.