It seems inevitable that Miguel Herrera will abandon the Tijuana Xolos to join his former team, Club America.
“El Piojo” experienced one of the most thrilling Liga MX finals with ‘Las Aguilas’ in the Clausura 2013 tournament, defeating Cruz Azul and since then has had a love affair with the Mexico City team. It has been rumored nearly the whole season that Miguel Herrera will go back to the capital, and now it seems more likely than ever.
This change could mean huge repercussions for the Xolos because it could mean that Herrera brings along the two best players on the border city side with him, Aviles Hurtado and Guido Rodriguez. The Aztec Canines have learned to be successful without Dayro Moreno in this Clausura 2017 tournament, and now need to ponder possible replacements for these two valuable players. Here are some possible replacements for head coach Herrera, Aviles Hurtado, and Guido Rodriguez.
There is always a possibility that “Piojo” could stay and the Xolos will have nothing to worry about. At these instances, however, it seems very unlikely that it will happen. Herrera seems to be joyful living in the border city and is respected and treated very well by his team and front office. For his birthday earlier this year, Xolos’ owner, Jorge Hank, gave Herrera a 60 thousand dollar present, a T-Rex S16 car. It seems like the Mexican manager would stay in Tijuana, but his love affair with Club America is so powerful that the move back to the capital city does seem inevitable at this point.
A replacement is already being talked about for Miguel Herrera, as the Argentine journalist, Cesar Luis Merlo, confirmed that the next manager for Club Tijuana will be Eduardo Coudet. Coudet is a huge gamble for Jorge Hank as he is fairly young at 42 years old and has no experience managing in the Liga MX yet. What “El Chacho” does bring to the table is experience playing in the Liga MX, having played from 2007-2010 with San Luis and Necaxa in the Liga MX. Coudet is a gamble that could offer a huge payout as his managing style is one that could thrive in the Liga MX, being very offensive. A comparison to his style could be that of Guadalajara’s manager, Matias Almeyda, who has led Chivas to 25 points so far this tournament.
The Argentine manager only has experience managing in his native country with Rosario Central. But the fact that he is Argentine is a plus as the Xolos currently have eight players from Argentina on their squad. If Herrera does leave, “El Chacho” seems like the man for the job in the border city.
If Miguel Herrea is to leave, it was recently rumored that Aviles Hurtado and Guido Rodriguez could follow him. Aviles Hurtado is the least worrying of the two as the Xolos have learned to live without Dayro Moreno this tournament and can do the same without Hurtado the next tournament. The Colombian forward currently has eight goals, but there are several replacements that can help keep Club Tijuana as one of the top teams in the Liga MX.
Juan Martin Lucero – Tijuana Xolos
One of the replacements already lies within Tijuana’s squad. Lucero is not the ideal replacement as he is more of a poacher and less of a creator. But depending on what Eduardo Coudet would want, Lucero could fit right into his system. The Argentine has been one of the most effective bench players this tournament, scoring four goals in just 330 minutes of play. The Argentine clearly would be a starter on a few Liga MX teams and could be a viable option to have in the Xolos’ starting 11 next season.
Carlos Darwin Quintero – Club America
If Hurtado does go to Club America, the Mexico City team must unload some players as well. ‘Las Aguilas’ have been trying to get rid of Carlos Darwin Quintero since last winter because he does not fit into their system. Quintero is quite similar to Hurtado as he offers tremendous pace and has a subpar passing ability. The Colombian forward also has spectacular dribbling ability like Hurtado, and would be the ideal replacement for the Xolos if Aviles is to leave. In this tournament, Quintero has only played in three games as a starter for Ricardo La Volpe and is clearly unhappy with his current situation with the capital city team.
Silvio Romero – Club America
Silvio Romero looks like the only other player that Club America would be willing to give up. The Argentine striker has started in nine games and has scored two goals with the ‘Azulcremas’ this Clausura, but would not be necessary to have in the squad with Aviles Hurtado. The fact that he is Argentine may also play a role in whether the Xolos decide to go with Carlos Darwin Quintero or Silvio Romero. The Argentine, in terms of play style, would not be ideal as he is not as quick and skillful as Quintero, but can be more clinical. Romero is quicker and a more skillful than Juan Martin Lucero or Milton Caraglio, but not close to Quintero or Hurtado. This again depends on what Eduardo Coudet is looking for. Romero has been excellent in the past, scoring a total of 18 goals with Chiapas in the 15/16 season.
Pedro Alexis Canelo – Puebla
Looking outside of Club America, there are still many other options within the Liga MX. Puebla is a struggling side with financial and relegation problems, but it has a gem in Alexis Canelo. The Argentine striker burst onto the scene this tournament after living in the shadows previously, not offering much in his career before 2017. Canelo currently has four goals and four assists playing on a crippled Puebla team that has no other weapons to supply him. With Tijuana that would be another story, with players like Milton Caraglio, Paul Arriola, and Victor Malcorra at his side. The Puebla striker has great pace, outstanding passing ability, and can be clinical in front of net. Canelo can be a creator as much as being a finisher and would be an exciting option for Tijuana next season.
Jonathan Rodriguez – Santos Laguna
Santos Laguna has an influx of attacking options and can afford to lose one next season. At the beginning of the year, the easy answer for who would leave the ‘guerreros’ by the end of the season was Djaniny Tavares. But now, after an injury to Jonathan Rodriguez, Tavares has emerged as a huge player for Santos Laguna, getting five goals and four assists this tournament. Rodriguez, before his injury, had three goals and one assist. But he was one of the best players for Santos Laguna. The other option is Julio Furch, but he is much too similar to Milton Caraglio, which would not suit Club Tijuana. The Uruguayan, Rodriguez, has pace and can be a different player than Caraglio, although he is not quite there in terms of his passing and dribbling ability compared to Aviles Hurtado.
There is a simple answer to who Guido Rodriguez’s replacement should be, and that is no one. Rodriguez is irreplaceable and the Tijuana Xolos will not be the same team without him in their starting 11. The Argentine is one of the hardest working and versatile players in the Liga MX, being critical both in defense and going forward. Guido is easily one of the most intelligent players in the league, having a spectacular ability to read the game and intercept balls. At 22 years old, Rodriguez also provides outstanding leadership, making the midfield his own and telling his teammates what to do. Guido Rodriguez is the most valuable player on the Xolos and it will be a tough season for the Aztec Canines if he is in Mexico City.
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.