We’ve decided to switch it up a bit and do a three things column. I hope you enjoy it. Regardless if you do or don’t, leave a comment here or on twitter and tell me your thoughts.
1.) There seems to be no bottom at Veracruz. It’s been 370 days and counting since Veracruz beat Tijuana 1-0. Since then, Tiburones Rojos are sitting at an astounding -57 goal differential. They’ve had five managers (including interim stints by Hugo Chávez and current caretaker José González), and don’t have many games coming up that pass the eye test as winnable. While it’s easy to dislike Veracruz, be it for owner Fidel Kuri’s threatening to move the team from Veracruz if the political party he belongs to didn’t win the gubernatorial elections, for Fidel Kuri’s openly flouting Mexican soccer and tax laws by employing double contracts (essentially paying a manager under the table while reporting a much larger sum to both the FMF and the government), Fidel Kuri saying he’d take the money owed to former manager Guillermo “Memo” Vázquez and spending it on vacation in Italy, or any number of other reasons that most likely have to do with Fidel Kuri, you have to feel bad for the fans who still love their team despite it being an unmitigated disaster in many ways.
A strong Federation could force Kuri to sell the team to someone or a group of someones who would at a minimum run things above board. Leagues in the United States have done this before, with the NBA recently forcing former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the club after racist statements surfaced in 2014, but the Clippers are a franchise of the NBA and not an independent entity like Tiburones Rojos are with respect to Liga MX. But the league and FMF can do more, starting with not allowing them to buy their way out of relegation again.
Until something happens though, it doesn’t seem like there’s an end in sight.
2.) Stoppage time winners will never not be fun. Both Tijuana and Puebla got game winning goals in stoppage time this week, and for anyone who isn’t a Cruz Azul or FC Juárez fan it was a ton of fun seeing that happen. Xolos battled back from being down 2-1 to winning 3-2 on a goal from Erick “Cubo” Torres in the 93rd minute, while Puebla also overcame a two goal deficit to win 2-1 on a Lucas Cavallini goal in the 91st minute. Both games were not only fun to watch but speak to the unpredictability of the league.
3.) Doble jornadas are fun to watch but are exhausting. Having two games in a week sounds like a great idea, unless you’re playing in them. Five of the games this weekend drew, with four of them ending 1-1. All of the games had teams that looked gassed despite liberal rotations from game to game. And while only Tijuana, Juárez, and Guadalajara were given respite by virtue of having a bye during this stretch, every club has to be feeling the effects of this grueling stretch. Luckily the international break will provide some clubs with a chance to rest and get players healthy – unless of course they’re playing a friendly next weekend.