The Monterrey vs Cruz Azul match will take place this Saturday, January 4, 2014 (5:00 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey. Monterrey had a mediocre Apertura 2013, and will hope Coach ‘Profe’ Cruz can guide Rayados towards a playoff appearance this time around. Cruz Azul had a better season, but failed, once again, to win the Liga MX (16 year win-less streak), and decided to replace coach Vazquez with Luis Tena.
Monterrey finished the previous season in 11th place, early on eliminated from playoff contention. Their December appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup was also disappointing, as Monterrey was only able to achieve a 5th place medal. Profe Cruz took over the helm at Monterrey midway through the Apertura 2013, replacing Vucetich. Since he joined, Monterrey has been unspectacular, I expect the ownership will want to see results early on this season, or he will be replaced.
Monterrey kept basically the same squad for this season, only adding two foreigners, David Morelo and Victor Ramos. Coach Profe Cruz will have to work with the aging stars in his squad, and hope it’s enough to reach the playoffs.
Cruz Azul had enough of Coach Vazquez’ inability to win tournaments, and replaced him with Luis Tena after Cruz Azul was eliminated by Toluca in the Apertura 2013 quarterfinals. Luis Tena will have to meet the high goals the ownership has placed, it appears they want at the very least an appearance in the Liga MX Final, ideally, a victory that ends the long championship drought.
In order to help Tena accomplish his goals, Cruz Azul acquired seven players during the December transfer period. Cruz Azul made an interesting move by acquiring three players from the MLS, however, the star acquisition was Marco Fabian from Chivas. The young winger will have to focus on soccer (i.e. stop partying so much) and try to return to his Gold Medal winning level. If Fabian can recover his level, he will help Cruz Azul become a real contender for the Clausura 2014 title.
Monterrey vs Cruz Azul Prediction
Both teams will, of course, want to start off the season with a win. However, I suspect Tena’s Cruz Azul will end up with a victory. Monterrey played in the FIFA Club World Cup recently, and they looked awful. Tena is a strong coach that knows Cruz Azul well, the squad had a good prior season, and should once again be a contender. Look for Cruz Azul to come out of the Tecnologico with a 2-1 away win.
Monterrey vs Cruz Azul Television
The Monterrey vs Cruz Azul match will be televised on Unimas on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 5:00 PM Pacific.