In the Clausura 2010 and the Apertura 2010 after that, Santos Laguna made the finals of Liguilla. In both cases, they did this after playing fantastic, entertaining football in the regular season. During the Clausura 2010, Matias Vicente Vuoso lead the line. When Christian Benitez returned from England, Vuoso was sold to Club America and Benitez had an unbelievable Apertura 2010. Then, the Clausura 2011 happened.
Christian Benitez got injured and Ruben Omar Romano was fired for flipping the bird to the fans. Santos started the season in a free fall. They fought their way back up and almost snuck into Liguilla, but the season has been categorized (correctly) as a failure in Torreon. However, as the firing of Romano foreshadowed, level heads do not prevail in the Santos board room. As we reported yesterday, Christian Benitez has been sold to America, while Christian Suarez is likely about to join from Necaxa. Now, this morning, new reports suggest that this summer will be closer to an overhaul than a shake-up for Santos.
According to a story at ESPN Deportes, both Jonathan Lacerda and Carlos Morales are available for transfer from Santos. Walter Jimenez, who was on loan at Puebla, will also likely leave the club this summer. The story also lists other on loan or reserve players who will likely be dumped in the summer.
Lacerda and Morales were great for Santos in the previous two tournaments, but it's obvious that Diego Cocca wants to put his stamp on the team and make it clear that this is his side, not one that he simply inherited from Romano. Based on their prior successes and fantastic style of play under Romano, it's a bit sad to see them gutted. Santos were, in my opinion, the most entertaining team to watch in the Apertura 2010, and seeing that side broken up unnecessarily is bad for Mexican football.
In a perfect world, Romano, Benitez, Lacerda and Morales would all be on the payroll of Santos during the Apertura 2011. Mexican football is nowhere near a perfect world.