Last year's Apertura 2011 was one to remember for Queretaro. The team claimed the final Liguilla spot and eliminated the SuperLider, Chivas, in the first round. The Uruguayan striker Carlos Bueno came just one goal shy of the scoring title. Queretaro were a relevant side with hopes of continuing their strides forward heading into the Clausura 2012 season in the spring.
Unfortunately for Queretaro the wheels not only came off, but the whole wagon crashed into the side of garbage truck. Carlos Bueno's absence was felt in a major way as the team struggled to make up for his lost goals. The Gallos Blancos were only able to muster fourteen goals while allowing thirty. This earned them a place with Estudiantes Tecos at the bottom of the table. Estudiantes are no longer in the Primera Division.
Queretaro will be staring relegation squarely in the face this year. Along with Atlas, San Luis, Atlante, and the newly-promoted Leon, Queretaro will need to scrape for any points they can muster. But unlike the other relegation contenders, Queretaro has a whole lot less to be excited about. These other teams made moves either with coaching, ownership, and/or players that are giving hope to the cause of remaining in the Primera. Queretaro ... well, not so much.
That is not to say the club hasn't bolstered its roster. No one was more busy than Queretaro this summer. However, the majority of their new acquisitions are loans coming from other Mexican squads. The financial situation at Queretaro creates no envy among the team's Liga MX peers. The club's pocketbook can't handle the signings of the needed reinforcements. Therefore, the hope is that this pack of rabble can find a way to gel quickly and put together a surprising campaign. It also looks as if they will need to do this without the newly acquired Diego de la Torre, who recently suffered a broken leg in a warm-up match with Morelia.
On the positive side, Queretaro did make a trip to Uruguay to find some hidden talents (and maybe find another Bueno ... pun intended). They were able to sign both goalkeeper Juan Castillo and forward Diego Vera from Liverpool of Uruguay. Vera and fellow Uruguayan attacking midfielder Diego Guastavino will be needed to provide the offensive spark that was so blatantly missing this past season.
Adolfo "El Bofo" Bautista -- His re-signing is not necessarily key for Queretaro's success, but definitely key for our viewing pleasure.
Shoes to Fill
Liborio Sanchez -- His play in goal was important in keeping Queretaro from some embarrassing scorelines. Newly acquired Juan Castillo will be vital at goalkeeper as he is likely to see a lot of action.
Mark Your Calendar
Week 8 vs. Atlas -- When these two lowly clubs clash on September 15th at Estadio Jalisco the game will carry enormous implications on the relegation table.
18th (out of 18) -- Queretaro are not looking great right now. They've shown few signs that they have the ability to stay out of the league's cellar. I expect this to be their last Apertura campaign for a while.