This year, there were many coaches in Mexican soccer who over-achieved in their respective teams. These coaches not only made lead their teams to success, but they also improved the quality of soccer in Mexico. Next, we present you the nominees, plus the winner for best coach in Mexico in this 2013.
Best Coach Nominees:
1. Ignacio Ambriz (Queretaro): This coach was one of the best coaches throughout 2013 in the Liga MX. He was signed by Gallos Blancos in February 4, replacing Sergio Bueno who left Queretaro in the last place of the relegation table. As coach, ‘Nacho’ failed in saving his team from demotion, however, his quality was felt as in that Clausura 2013 he finished the league in 8th place, but could not participate in the playoffs as his team was demoted. Prior to the start of the Apertura 2013, Queretaro bought Jaguager de Chiapas, therefore they inherited the rights to remain in the league. In that season, the squad became stronger, and Nacho Ambriz finished in 7th place, while losing in the quarterfinals against Santos Laguna. Nominee: Lead Queretaro to a top-8 finish two seasons in a row with a poorly rated squad.
2. Guillermo Vazquez (Cruz Azul): Vazquez had a year where fans learned to love him, and also to hate him. This coach arrived to Cruz Azul in July, 2012, and since the beginning fans did not like his style of play; reserved, and on the counter-attack. Nonetheless, the first half of the year was very successful for Vazquez because he lead the ‘cementeros’ to their first Copa MX title since 1996-97 (formerly known as Copa Mexico). In that same Clausura 2013, Vazquez also lead his team to the Liga MX final where his team lost in penalty kicks against Club America. The Apertura 2013 ended in a negative way as his team lost quickly in the quarterfinals. Although he was fired in December, Vazquez was undoubtedly one of the best coaches of the year. Nominee: Lead Cruz Azul to a Copa MX title, and the Clausura 2013 Final (runner-up).
3. Carlos Bustos (Monarcas Morelia): Coach Bustos took hold of the team in February 18, 2013 after after a bad run by Ruben Omar Romano. With Romano, Monarcas had gained 8 points after 7 games and the team was far from a playoff seed. Bustos was brought from affiliate Neza FC, and his leadership was quickly demontrated. In the remaining 10 games of the Clausura 2013, Bustos remained undefeated while obtaining 22 points and leading Morelia into the playoffs. Although his team was eliminated in the quarterfinals, in the Apertura 2013 he once again reached the playoffs and qualified his team into the Copa Libertadores 2014. Finally, he also won the Apertura 2013 Copa MX, which was the first domestic title for his team since 2000. Nominee: Lead Monarcas to two ‘liguillas’, qualified his team into the Copa Libertadores 2014, and won the Copa MX.
4. Pedro Caixinha (Santos Laguna): The Portuguese coach arrived to Torreon in January 1, 2013. At the time, his signing raised many questions because, how can a Portuguese know anything about Mexican soccer? Well, Caixinha has not only adapted to the Liga MX, but he is now one of the most talked about coaches in the league. In his first season (Clausura 2013), Santos took some time to understand their new coach’s system. Nonetheless, the ‘laguneros’ finished the season in 6th place, and reached the semifinals. The Apertura 2013 showed a much more mature coach, with a stronger and more efficient team. In the second semester of the year, Caixinha lead his squad to 33 points, and 2nd place in the standings. While they liost again in the semifinals against the eventual champions Leon, Caixinha qualified his team into the Copa Libertadores 2014. Nominee: Arrived into Mexico with poor understanding of the league; still qualified to two straight semifinals, will play in the Copa Libertadores 2014, and has one of the best teams entering the Clausura 2014.
5. Gustavo Matosas (Club Leon): The Uruguayan coach is currently one of the most popular coaches in the country, in the current best team in the Liga MX. Matosas is a nominee for best coach of the year because he lead Leon to the Apertura 2013 title. What is interesting about this success, is that Matosas was able to turn his team from one of the worst in the league, to the best in just 6 months. The Clausura 2013 was terrying for them, as they finished in 15h place, and were quickly eliminated from th Copa Libertadores 2013. It went so bad for Matosas, that rumors of his firing were raised. The Apertura 2013 was completely different because Leon finihsed in 3rd of the standings. The biggest change was that Matosas remained to be aggressive on the attack, but surprisingly, they also because one of the best defenses in the Liga MX. Nominee: Matosas qualified his team into the Copa Libertadores 2014, won the Apertura 2013 title, and has one of the best teams in the league; with a team that he promoted into the first division just 3 seasons ago.
Winner – Miguel Herrera (Club America): Piojo Herrera revived the ‘Americanismo’ in the league. Today, people once again have learned what it is to deeply hate the team from ‘coapa’, or also, how much to love them. The ‘aguilas’ were on a constant downfall before Piojo arrived into ‘coapa’ in the Clausura 2012. In his first two seasons, Herrera reached the semifinals in consecutive manner; however, his real success arrived in 2013. The Apertura 2013 was the first success for Herrera, who reached the final and defeated Cruz Azul in a way not even Hollywodd could think of. After that championship, it was imagined that America could fall ill into the ‘campeonitis’ syndrome which basically means the reigning champions fails to be successful in the next season.
Unlike many beliefs, Herrera lead his team to 1st place in the standings of the Apertura 2013 with the 3rd best offense, and the best defense. While doing this, he was also elected as the Mexican National Team coach, where he lead ‘el Tri’ into the World Cup after an easy wild-card against New Zealand. After returning from national tea, duties, his team never recovered its best form, but it was still enough to reach the Apertura 2013 final. America would lose the final to Leon, but the year as a whole was a grand success for Miguel Herrera. Award: Revived the ‘Americanismo’, won the Clausura 2013 title, reached the Apertura 2013 final (runner-up), was the team with the most regular season points in the entire year.