ATLANTA - JULY 28: A fan of Club America plays two vuvuzelas during the match against Manchester City during the 2010 Aaron's International Soccer Challenge match at Georgia Dome on July 28 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The decline of Club America has been evident since the team's last championship, which came under the helm of Mario Carillo during the Clausura 2005 season. The times then were picture perfect; el americanismo was at its splendor and the club, at least for the moment, was back on the throne. Those times are now long gone, as the splendor has disintegrated into turmoil, ambiguity, and depression.
The Americanista fan no longer feels pride to shout, "Soy Americanista en las buenas y en las malas." The malas continue to raise their head every time a match concludes, whether it's a Clasico or just another game. Azteca no longer vibrates to the beat of America’s fans; visiting teams come to La Colonia of Santa Ursula knowing there is a good shot to leave the capital with a positive result.
As the conclusion of the Apertura approaches, America has fallen to the 17th slot of the league table; two losses to end the year could make the club the ugly duckling of Mexican football. America will come to these games sans Angel Reyna and Vicente Sanchez. Reyna’s remarks after the Clasico stirred the team as a whole, but his statements targeting his teammates only showcased America’s delirious circumstance – that the team is in shambles. Sanchez was made team captain by el ma’etro Reynoso, but has lived a nightmare as an America player, not living up to his glorious years as a Toluca assassin on the right flank.
For now it is simple to call out the names of those who have caused this decadence to reach catastrophic levels. Shouting the names of Michel Bauer, Azcarraga (hijo), Lapuente, or Ordiales will not solve the problem. It is now obvious that the team has been treated as a brand and not as a soccer club. The owner seems to be interested in other prevalent things. His concerns are his company, and soccer falls last on that "to do" list.
Adding to the misery is the success of America's archrival. On top of the table and living a great moment is Chivas, the team that cruised along at Azteca to an easy 3-1 victory. Chivas is the team trumpeting its young prospects, talented players who feel the jersey’s color and possess a hunger to make it to the big leagues. It is the all-Mexican team with a great reputation around the world – boosted after selling Javier Hernandez to Manchester United, and recently Ulises Davila to Chelsea FC. The archrival has climbed into another dimension, while America tries to gallop its way uphill, blocked by obstacles along the way.
These obstacles must be shattered immediately. Does Club America have the capacity to create good young prospects? Yes. Can the team make better signings? Certainly. Is the team sick and tired of losing? Without a doubt.
Mexican soccer needs America’s renaissance. In a country where violence and uncertainty prevails, Mexican soccer needs its giants to reshape national identity. Soccer serves as an antidote to the country’s illness. A strong America should reawaken el americanismo, which today is sadly in a state of decadence.