TIJUANA.- The Tijuana Xolos soccer team just suffered one of the biggest collapses in the history of Mexican soccer. The canine ensemble was the league leader for 5 weeks and for 14 were in the finals qualifying round, when suddenly at the last minute, a painful shot to the goal from the Leon team left them out of the finals.
Many conclusions can be drawn regarding Xolos' downfall. Not even the now former coach, Daniel Guzman ,was able to explain the downturn in all of its players, which in the end may not be his fault, nevertheless, he is the one to hold responsible, causing him to go from top notch coach to death beat and unemployed.
The majority of coaches mention that "teams are made backwards and then forward." It's import an to evaluate what Xolos was throughout their first meets, where although their offense was on point, they also received many goals. That being said, once the crisis started, that same defense mentioned that their victories weren't taken into account. Crisis are always the one to blame.
With almost four years on the team, Cirilo Saucedo will undoubtedly have to step down and give way to a new goalkeeper in order to renew the Xolos goalkeeping. Saucedo achieved his prime level in 2012, but everything has gone downhill since then, and nowadays a goalie with no leg game is a risk (although luckily for Saucedo, his reflexes, which are his biggest virtue, are still intact).
Aside from Saucedo, who managed to block some holes during his defense, we have Javier Gandolfi, another player whose title as team captain is on the line. The Argentinian midfielder appears to be ending a cycle, during the team's first meets, Jesus Chavez went on to block the mistakes of the South American player, only to end up making the same errors and sinking the team's defense.
Out in the sidelines it was confirmed that the only star in the left sideline defense, Greg Garza, was not as competitive as everyone thought, and even though his attack improved, he was surpassed by several players throughout the tournament. The lack of planning that was shown by Garza's defense left the team without protection. On the right sideline, player Juan Carlos Núñez is still at it best, and year after year he's been rock steady. One-on-one are usually a win for him.
Undoubtedly, the tournament highlights were players Javier Güemez and Juan Arango, the Culiacán native (Güemez) earned his calling to the Copa America recruitment, by being the balancing point and rival destructor for Xolos, while at the same time he contributed to the offense. On the other hand, the Venezuelan player (Arango), who was set to play on team since technical director Cesar Farías' era, was replaced by Cristian Pellerano, who gave an outstanding offense, given that he was the one player who tried to achieved more points up on the scoreboard; in the end, Pellerano was naturally not a complement for Güemez, however, both players remain a continuity.
Richard Ruíz and Joe Corona have been given perhaps too many opportunities, with Ruiz letting off only some sparks and Corona convincing very few. Gabriel Hauche's also had a big downfall in the game, as he started out as some-sort of demon on the field but always ended up desperate, letting his rivals simply line up and wait for him. On a upper area, little can be said about Dayro and Alfredo Moreno, as the Moreno duet achieved some goals and created opportunities. Ricardo de Jesus confirmed his place as an important asset, who may not score as much, but his work on the field became the number one aid for Hauche.
And the last blow towards the Xolos decadence, seems to have been clearly misread, given that the team started to mentally cornered itself with balls that were once scoring and then suddenly weren't, while Guzman kept looking for help
[p]on the bench only to find that non one was there to reinvigorate the match. Jose Ayovi wasn't what people expected, and even though he tried, his youth couldn't carry that much weight, hence the Leon failure.
Fans expect something more from Xolos in the upcoming season, there has to be an important restructuring in team in order to change the outlook for the rest of the year.
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