The Apertura 2014 season on Liga MX barely complete its fourth week and we already have the first manager to lose his job. Jose Luis Trejo resigned (or was forced to resign) following Pumas UNAM's thirrd consecutive loss of the season. In other news Club America striker Raul Jimenez seems more and more likely to leave the club to head across the Atlantic.
Here are the biggest story lines in Mexico after the fourth round of play.
1. TREJO NO LONGER PUMAS UNAM MANAGER
Jose Luis Trejo was by no means a popular signing for the Mexico City University club, but the positive results he got last season allowed some of the pressure to be relived off of him. He took Pumas to a third place finish in the Clausura 2014 season, after the club had finished dead last in the Apertura 2013 season. The big turn around did not buy him much slack and after three consecutive losses the manager decided (or was forced) to step aside.
Trejo was heavily criticized this season not for losing three consecutive matches, but for the style in which the losses came about. The first two losses happen when Pumas played with a man advantage with the score level. Trejo never risked much going forward in those matches and ended up conceding goals despite the numerical advantage. And in this last match against Atlas while being down a goal at home, Trejo kept the conservative approach which further angered the fans, media, and club directors.
2. RAUL JIMENEZ SEEMS TO BE LEAVING AFTER ALL
The deal with FC Porto never came to be for Raul Jimenez who looked like he was staying at Club America at least one more full season. But an 'important' offer from Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid was rumored to have arrived just before kickoff of Saturday's Tigres-America match. Those rumors were confirmed by club President Ricardo Pelaez following the 0-2 America win in Monterrey.
Negotiations now seem to be advanced by both clubs and Jimenez could be presented in the Spanish capital later this week.
3. RETURN TO REALITY FOR CHIVAS
Chivas of Guadalajara spent last week on a 'mini vacation' in the United States playing friendly matches against some of Europe's biggest clubs (Bayern Munich and AC Milan). The Rebaño Sagrado suffered losses to both 1-0 to the Germans and 3-0 to the Italians. They have now returned to their dark reality of relegation battle in Mexico. At the weekend Chivas visited Pachuca were they were handed their second consecutive 3-0 loss. The famous Guadalajara side are now third from bottom in the percentage table just on top of Puebla by three points and Liga MX new comers Leones Negros whose percentage fluctuates radically with each match.
4. CRUZ AZUL FINALY WIN, BUT STILL NO IMPRESSIVE
Last season's league leaders Cruz Azul have had a rather uncharacteristic slow start to the new season. A loss and two draws in the opening three matches, plus a home draw in the CONCACAF Champions League had many fans and club personnel on alert, getting ready for high alert. Their 1-0 win over Puebla will bring in a breath of fresh air, but not much calm. The win came via an own goal from Puebla's Michael Orozco in the first half. Orozco would later be shown a direct red card for an elbow to the face on Cruz Azul's Mariano Pavone. The three points are a welcome addition to Cruz Azul who now improve to 10th place with 5 points, but the style in which they achieved it will still leave concerns.
5. FIRST POINT IN LIGA MX FOR LEONES NEGROS
Leones Negros from the University of Guadalajara are back in Mexico's top flight football after a 20 year absence and in their Week four match at home against the powerful Toluca they managed their first point following the 0-0 draw. Leones Negros do have a game in hand against their struggling neighbors who are also one of their relegation race opponents Chivas. The Week 3 match could not be played due to Chivas' friendly matches in the United States.