This past Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, the Tijuana Xolos officially announced Cirilo Saucedo as the interim manager of the team.
Saucedo was previously Club Tijuana’s U-20 manager and had also spent half a decade at the border city club as a player.
The Guanajuato native was a very consistent goalkeeper in the Liga MX that was part of Tijuana’s 2012 Apertura-winning side. Saucedo is considered by several fans and critics to be a true club legend for the Xoloitzcuintles, and by consequence of this, several fans are hopeful to have a figure like him at the helm.
Club Tijuana is having a dismal 2023 Clausura campaign with no wins and just four points from five games played. Something that the previous Xolos manager Ricardo Valino really struggled with in his tenure at the club was positive results at home, which is vital to the border city team’s success.
Saucedo will face his first task at the Estadio Caliente this Friday, Feb. 10, as Xolos host Atletico San Luis at the Mictlan. There are still no managers whispered to be in Tijuana’s orbit for a permanent job as head boss, as this a tremendous opportunity for the former Xolos goalkeeper.
Something that several fans have argued is missing from Club Tijuana over the years is a sense of identity, which Saucedo certainly has. Atletico San Luis is currently in sixth place with eight points but is definitely a beatable side, especially with Xolos having the home-field advantage.
With Club Tijuana’s U-20 side, Saucedo was not having the best season, currently in 15th place with four points from five games. However, unlike the first team, Saucedo did have a win under his belt, a 1-0 victory against Cruz Azul that came in the first week of the competition.
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It will also be interesting to see if the interim manager decides to give younger players some minutes on the pitch, having worked with academy players. The Aztec Canines are not known for bringing up young talent, but Saucedo has all the makings of a non-traditional manager at the club.
Friday has the potential to be a decisive day for both Cirilo Saucedo and Club Tijuana, but it also has the potential to become an anecdote of what could have been with a club legend at the helm.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.