Xolos Tijuana have announced that ex-Venezuelan national head coach, Cesar Alejandro Farias Acosta, will be the new head coach for their institution. The decision was announced on the Xolos Tijuana official website in the early morning of Tuesday, December 3, 2013. Xolos had released their previous head coach, Jorge Almiron, immediately after the conclusion of the Apertura 2013 season.
Jorge Almiron’s tenure as head coach of Xolos lasted a single season, in which he failed to qualify to the Liga MX playoffs; his only achievement being that he qualified to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Overall, Almiron was never able to decide who should be his starting eleven, constantly making changes to the lineup, and always struggling with in-game substitutions. Simply put, the team never looked good, and Jorgealberto Hank Inzunza, president of Xolos, decided to terminate the relationship.
This time around, Xolos decided to opt for an experienced head coach, you might recall that Almiron had’t achieved anything in his coaching career yet. Cesar Farias was Venezuela’s national team head coach from 2008-2013, where he achieved historical results.
Farias turned Venezuela from South America’s perennial minnow, into a solid contender for World Cup qualification. For the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, Farias took Venezuela very close to the World Cup. For the first time in its history, Venezuela was still mathematically alive heading into the final week of qualifying matches.
For the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, Farias took Venezuela very close to the World Cup once again, falling just short of the South American playoff spot. Farias also qualified a Venezuelan youth team to the country’s first ever World Cup; Farias qualified the U-20 team to the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt, where Venezuela reached the Round of 16.
Prior to his role as head coach of the Venezuelan National Team, Cesar Farias had a very successful career in the Venezuelan soccer leagues. Farias took Nueva Cádiz Fútbol Club from the third division to the first division in just two years. Afterwards, he managed several first division Venezuelan teams, always remaining near the top spots. His most successful tenure coming with Deportivo Tachira, where Farias achived a second place finish in the league, and took the team to the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals.
Looking at Cesar Farias’ career, you can tell he has been very successful, specially considering he is very young, just 40 years old. What I personally like about his career, is that he has taken underdogs to high places. Beginning early on in his career, where he took a team from the third division to the first division in just two years. Then, Farias was able to take Deportiva Tachira to the Libertadores quarterfinals, a rare feat for a Venezuelan club. Finally, he turned the Venezuelan National Team into a decent South American contender.
Farias is definitely a huge upgrade over Jorge Almiron, who tried his best, but was simply too inexperienced, and should have never been given the head coach position (I blame the ownership, not Almiron for the bad Apertura 2013 season). Only time will tell whether Farias will come close to achieving what Turco Mohamed did in a fairly short time, but I believe his track record shows he is certainly capable of it.