Ask Cesar

The final #AskCesar of 2017!

It’s the final #AskCesar of the year! Let’s see what you guys sent me this week.

I don’t watch much of the EPL — I only watch sad West Ham games because of Chicharito — but it’s looking like Manchester City and…

*Cesar immediately checks FiveThirthyEight*

Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Best: Cemento Cruz Azul on Cruz Azul’s jersey. Doesn’t distract, but that’s for obvious reasons.
Worst: Everything on the Leon jersey

Will all three make the World Cup? Probably. Are any of the three no longer guaranteed starting spots? I think that’s the more interesting question.

Whether it be Gio, Jona or Vela, they will need to immediately be one of the top MLS players next year. If not, options like Tecatito, Lozano, Herrera, Guardado and maybe Fabian will keep them on the bench in Russia.

Pozole. I love both but hate myself less when I’ve had too much pozole instead of too many tamales.

This one from Fabian. It’s unfortunate that it was during the loss against Germany.

Man, their album Innerspeaker was on repeat forever in 2010. I finished college that year and regularly listened to it while having existential problems about what I wanted to do with my life. I haven’t listened to their latest albums because I’m slowly becoming an out-of-touch old man, but I’ll definitely give them a listen now.

In general no, but they should be. At the moment, Liga MX is undoubtedly better and teams like Monterrey and Tigres are signing players that could be in Europe, but MLS is becoming an increasingly tantalizing option for many. Just look at the Dos Bros and Vela.

Experienced and promising South Americans have helped support numerous Liga MX clubs, and it appears as though MLS teams are starting to recognize the true value of bringing in those options to the United States instead.

All that said, I do believe that the growth of one league inadvertently does also help the other. If interested, I wrote about this topic earlier this year for FourFourTwo.

Foreign talent is what makes the league as powerful as it is. What would Liga MX be without Andre-Pierre Gignac, Aviles Hurtado, Tiago Volpi, Dorlan Pabon and countless others?

I think the bigger problem here isn’t the 9/9 rule, it’s the setup of the league. I know others may not agree, but I believe having a longer season (instead of two in one year) would then force teams to provide more minutes and opportunities to younger Mexican players. Since that will likely never happen, the next best option is to strengthen the second division. How? Change the pro/rel system that allows for more than just one team moving up and down. Also, change the pro/rel system so it looks at results over one year instead of the last three.

Anywho, I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I think you get a sense of where I’m going with this.

Things can change very quickly with young players, but I’m going to say that Alvarez is going to have a better career. The kid needs to make some serious improvements before becoming a starter for El Tri, but it’s impressive to see how quickly he has comfortably taken charge for club and country.

Each year, it’s astounding to see the numbers associated with the big-name transfers. It’s hard to wrap my head around many of the prices, but this is a business after all, and a growing one.

Miguel Layun. Of the biggest Mexican stars in Europe, he is the one that is having the most difficult time earning minutes. I don’t think he should do something as drastic as returning to the Liga MX, but I do believe that he can find a decent team in Europe that he can at least go on loan to.

I don’t even know what my resolution will be! To be honest, I usually think of them a few minutes after midnight. Go to sleep earlier? Less pizza? Save more money? I’m already thinking of giving those up and I haven’t even started them yet.

I answered this question in the video preview, and the more I think about it, the more I think it’s going to happen again. Although the season hasn’t started yet, I’ll say that it is the most likely final scenario.

Of course you can! Support and wear any jersey that you want. It’s all a game in the end.

Don’t tell anyone, but the Dutch national team is my second favorite national team and even after the “no era penal” incident, I still wore a Dutch jersey every now and then. Soccer is soccer.

Chicken! Also, I’ve never made tamales because I’m far too lazy haha. I love to cook but have never put in the effort to make some.

If teams were Mexican pastries? Here are my answers.

Concha: Monterrey because they rarely let me down and I usually always enjoy them.
Churro: Morelia because I never actively seek them out but am pleasantly surprised when I run into them.
Tres leches cake: Cruz Azul because an older generation keeps telling me that they are amazing but I have yet to see it.
Rosca de reyes: Puebla because I’m not sure what to make of it.

Maiz? I’m only saying that because I grew up with the corn husk variety.

Best: The surreal moment when one of my favorite musicians of all time was playing in a small punk bar in Tijuana. I associate the city with Xolos/work and it was bizarre in the best way possible to see him and some close friends at a dive bar near the Estadio Caliente.

Worst: Anything involving Trump.

Here it is! Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on Club America. Good stuff so far.

With all of the madness surrounding Liga MX/El Tri (and the holidays), I haven’t had a chance to really scrutinize the USSF candidates for President. Something I’ll need to work on soon.

As for what MLS can learn from Liga MX on pro/rel, they can learn that Mexico’s pro/rel leaves much to be desired. It’s highly difficult for second division sides to make their way up to the first division, and once they are there, the current structure in Liga MX puts them at a massive disadvantage in the relegation race. Established teams can have a terrible run over two seasons but still stay up because of a good tournament or two in the recent past. The recently promoted sides? They have no room for mistakes.

If MLS and U.S. Soccer adopt a pro/rel model, my hope is that it looks nothing like the one that Mexico is utilizing.

Andres Guardado. Despite his recent injury, he’s had a good start to the season and is an invaluable leader and source of inspiration going forward. No wonder why he is the captain.

Which player would be more impactful if in form? That has to be Hirving Lozano. The game against Belgium might be a hint of his game-changing abilities for next summer.

Hmmm, do you mean Angelo Henriquez? If so, I think he has the potential to be a fantastic player. People have been talking about him for years and it’s crazy to think that he is still only 23. Things didn’t go as planned in Europe, but I do think that he can thrive in Mexico. He’ll probably need some time to adjust, though.

*drum roll*

#1: More minutes for key players in Europe

Little differences can make huge impacts in the World Cup, which means that players like Diego Reyes, Raul Jimenez, Miguel Layun and Hector Moreno must soon find a way to get more playing time. Chicharito might join this list as well.

#2: Avoid injuries

It’s hard to avoid injuries, but a setback for a player like Moreno, Guardado or Lozano would truly hurt the national team next summer.

#3: Be mentally prepared

It’s not a secret that the national team has had problems with morale in the past. The 7-0 loss to Chile still looms large over the squad and Osorio himself felt it was necessary to take a trip to South America after the game to collect his thoughts. Now, the curse of the quinto partido will likely put a massive amount of mental strain on the national team.

Luckily, El Tri has a mental coach now (Imanol Ibarrondo) and his role with the team is much more important than it at first appears. His preparation with El Tri will be vital for success in the World Cup.

Guillermo Ochoa, JJ Corona and Hugo Gonzalez.

Most of the Mexican soccer world was quite surprised when he was announced as manager of Rangers, but there was little talk of anything positive from his time with the Scottish club. The decision to bring in Herrera and Peña was also a perplexing one, due to the fact that they are both seen as once promising players who failed to reach expectations in the Liga MX.

Since returning to Mexico, he has raised some eyebrows after dropping Christian “Chaco” Gimenez from Cruz Azul. Chaco is 36 years old, but a big fan favorite for the club, so it hasn’t exactly been the most ideal start for the former Rangers manager.

It’s also interesting to note that Caixinha won’t be on the sideline for the first match this upcoming season. He still has a one-match ban to serve from his previous time with Santos Laguna.

Back in 2014, Peña was seen as one of the more exciting Mexican players. He thrived as one of the two attacking midfielders in a 4-3-3 or 5-3-2 for club and country, and was a welcome source of aggression and strength going forward.

His form dropped after a serious injury to Leon teammate and close friend Luis Montes in May of that year. Former Mexico manager Miguel Herrera even stated to the press in June of 2014 that Peña still hadn’t emotionally recovered from the injury to Montes. After a fairly average 2015, Gullit later made the move to Chivas in 2016 and didn’t reach the high expectations that everyone expected from him. Now, he’s fairly irrelevant to the national team.

What Gullit showed at Leon is that he works best as an attack-minded midfielder who is able to share the play-making workload with another active midfielder. In Leon and with Mexico, he was able to showcase that talent in a 3-man midfield that only had one defensive midfielder.

Assuming that Germany is going to earn 1st place of the group, keep your fingers crossed that the Germans demolish Sweden haha. Maybe quietly celebrate the German goals so you don’t offend your friend.

The transfers haven’t been the most exciting, but America will still improve. Young players like Edson Alvarez, Guido Rodriguez and Carlos Vargas are only going to get better. I don’t think that they’ll be able to surpass Monterrey or Tigres, but America will still be a title-contender next season.



To Top