Tijuana Xolos, the lost puppies of Liga MX

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Lots to think about and fix for Eduardo Coudet. Photo By: Itzel Segura / Prost Amerika

By: Jonny Rico
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The season is young, it is only two games in, but already there is troubling signs in the border region with Tijuana Xolos. A slow start to this 2017 Apertura season was always expected after all the changes that the team went through at the conclusion of the 2017 Clausura season. But the performance on display for the Xolos during the Week 1 and Week 2 matches signals much more than a slow start, the performance signal troubling times for the Xoloitzcuintles.

Xolos kicked off the season with a 2-0 loss at home to Cruz Azul last weekend. And now followed it up with a 1-0 loss away to Club Necaxa this past Saturday. But more than just the final scores of the two matches, it is the on-field performance from the team that is troubling.

More than just growing pains for a team that is rebuilding, Tijuana Xolos have shown a lack of determination and commitment. The Xoloitzcuintles attack is out sync, there is very little chemistry between the players, many who are new to Liga MX. This much was expected. Xolos have tried to push forward with the talented players they have hoping that they build understanding and team chemistry sooner rather than later. This much was expected.

What wasn’t expected is the individual elementary mistakes that have cost Xolos the first two matches of the new season. This includes but is not limited to goalkeeper Gibran Lajud. Two of the three goals that Xolos have conceded in these two matches have been a direct result of monumental goalkeeping mistakes by Lajud.

Besides Lajud, the rest of the Xolos team has not looked very sharp. Missed played passes, terrible ball control and a number of elementary fundamentals of the game has caused Xolos to give up possession of the ball through out both games against Cruz Azul and Necaxa.

Even new manager Eduardo Coudet looks shaky at his position. Argentine midfielder Matias Pisano was rumored to be set to leave the club because he was not part of Coudet’s plan. Pisano was excluded from the 18-man roster for the Week 1 match at home against Cruz Azul. But the Argentine midfielder was put into Coudet’s starting lineup for the match in Aguascaliente against Necaxa.

Tijuana Xolos are once again in a similar position. The Xoloitzcuintles have always tried to think outside of the box when building their teams including the managers they hire. Following Antonio ‘Turco‘ Mohamed’s departure, Xolos hired Jorge Almiron, an Argentine manager who had played in Liga MX but had no managerial experience in Mexico’s top flight. That project crashed and burned.

After Almiron, Tijuana Xolos went even further outside the box and hired the Venezuelan National Team manager Cesar Farias. Once again the manager had no prior Liga MX experience and the project crashed and burned after a few season.

Since Almiron and Farias, Club Tijuana hired better known managers like Daniel Guzman, Ruben Omar Romano and Miguel Herrera. But they are onceagain back to the “Think Differently” approach. They have always had a great eye for signing unknown players like Christian Pellerano, Dario Benedetto and Guido Rodriguez but that eye has not been very favorable in the managerial position.

Eduardo Coudet looks to be transcend the bad history with Xolos’ managerial hires.

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