After eight weeks of Liga MX soccer, and disappointing results, Pumas, Pachuca, and Atlante have decided to replace their head coaches. With 9 matches still remaining in the regular season, these teams are hoping the new coaches will reinvigorate their respective squads and turn their team around in time to make a playoff appearance.
Pumas released coach Torres Servin following the 1-4 home loss against Club America this past Monday. Servin was only able to accumulate four points through eight Liga MX matches, without even being able to win a single match. Servin’s interim replacement will be David Patiño (Update: Jose Luis Trejo named Pumas head coach on 9/4/2013), the current U-20 Pumas head coach. Patiño will remain in the head coach position until a suitable replacement is found, although he could potentially keep the job through the remainder of the season.
In Pachuca, Enrique “Ojitos” Meza has been chosen to replace Gabriel Caballero. Caballero quit his position as Pachuca’s head coach after a slow start this season, where his team gained just nine points through eight matches. The Pachuca ownership decided to go with someone they know well. Meza coached Pachuca from 2006-2009, winning 1 Mexican league title, 1 Copa Sudamericana, and 2 CONCACAF Champions League. The veteran coach has plenty of talent to choose from, and Pachuca is not too far off from the playoff spots, a turnaround this season is still possible.
Atlante released Wilson Graniolatti after a horrendous start where his team only tied twice, and lost six matches. Uruguayan coach Ruben Israel will be his replacement; he has never coached in Mexico. Israel is best known for coaching Club Libertad in Paraguay, winning several titles in 2007-2008. With no experience in the Mexican league, a very limited squad, and currently sitting in last place of the relegation table, it appears Ruben Israel will have a very difficult time in his Mexican coaching debut.
With the dismissals of Lapuente from Puebla, Benjamin Galindo from Chivas and Vucetich from Monterrey, Servin, Caballero, and Graniolatti go on to become the 4th, 5th, and 6th Liga MX managers fired this season. Six out of the starting 18 coaches have been released, a whopping 33% of the head coaches, certainly an aspect peculiar to Mexican soccer. With a little less than half of the season underway, we should expect a couple of more managers to be fired. Omar Asad in Atlas is under pressure, and to a lesser extent, so is Jorge Almiron in Xolos.