The wait is over, and Mexican futbol is finally back. This season looks to be promising, with many teams building up in the offseason heading into the Clausura 2012 looking for the championship. Week 1 has many great matches to kick off the season. One of those matches will be played at Estadio Omnilife on Saturday night, as Chivas del Guadalajara host Los Potros del Atlante.
Chivas begins their road to redemption after last seasons performance, where they finished first in the Apertura 2011, but failed to get passed the first round against a surprise eighth seeded Queretaro team in the liguilla. Like expected, Chivas did not really make any moves in the offseason. The same base of players used last season, and seasons before will head into this years Clausura. Though many fans feel that there is a lack of depth in the team, Guadalajara president, Jorge Vergara continues to put his trust on the youth system, which in the past has given him some results. In the offseason, Chivas coach Fernando Quirarte asked at least for one experienced forward, and after many rumors and possible movements, Chivas did not bring any one, heading into this season with many questions for its fans.
Chivas will have to start the season strong and gain as many points possible. Chivas will be participating in this years Copa Libertadores as well. The excessive amount of games and travel time might hit the squad in mid season playing two tournaments, which can put at risk their chances to make this years liguilla. Along with the Clausura and Copa Libertadores, Chivas might lose some players to the Mexican Olympic team, since qualifying begins in March of this year as well.
Atlante comes into this season as possibly one of the "weak teams" after all the moves in the offseason. Not only did Atlante lose their coach, Miguel Herrera to Club America, but lost their best player, Christian "el hobbit" Bermudez, as well as their starting goalkeeper, Moises Munoz, both to the team of Coapa. Atlante also released Venezuelan Giancarlo Maldonado, an experienced forward who in the past has shown promising seasons with Atlante.
With the departure of Miguel Herrera, Atlante hired Mario Garcia, who has come into Atlante to try and mold a new team. Atlante brought some players to try and fill those spots left by Bermudez and Munoz. From America, Armando Navarrete comes in easily as the starting goalkeeper after a devastating season with las Aguilas last season, but has plenty of experience under the goal post. From San Luis, the Ecuadorian international Michael Arroyo joins the squad as well as Mexican Hebert Alferez who is coming from Europe after playing a couple of season with Rijeka of the Croatian top league.
Chivas will begin this season trying to make its fans forget last years disappointment. They will have the chance against Atlante playing in front of their home crowd. Though Chivas did not have a great pre-season, players and staff have stated there are no excuses and will come out victorious in their first game. Atlante on the other hand will try to inject some confidence to this "new Atlante team" and try to mold a playing style with new coach Mario Garcia. New year, new season, let the games begin.
Injuries: Jorge "Chaton" Enriquez & Omar Esparza for Chivas, none for Atlante.
Suspended players: Luis Michel for Chivas, none for Atlante.
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