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David Patiño becomes third Pumas coach of the season

Coach Sergio Egea steps down after a terrible interim spell

Pumas’ home Estadio Olimpico Universitario
Rafael Hernandez

Pumas named David Patiño as interim head coach of Pumas after Sergio Egea resigned from the job after a disastrous short spell where they lost every game but one in league play. While a lot of criticism of the team's poor level of play was toward coach Francisco Palencia, replacement Egea's turn was even worse and he could only get a single win, in a Copa MX game against Celaya. The disastrous 4-1 loss against city rival Cruz Azul was the last straw for Egea, who had been questioned from the start since he was the sporting director and was accused of having a conflict of interest in replacing Palencia. Pumas is currently in last place in the league and things look even worse for the near future since their star player, Nicolas Castillo, had to come out injured in the Cruz Azul drubbing.

David Patiño will once again take the helm of Pumas on an interim basis. Patiño is a man of the team where he was key in their 1990-1991 title and played well enough to get to the Mexican national team in the 1993 Copa America (where he scored twice). Still, it will be a tough job for him as the team is unquestionably in a free fall. While Palencia's team had dropped a lot from his first year, where he got to the liguilla, and the firing wasn't surprising, it looks in hindsight to be a bad decision. The level of play under Egea has been worse in almost every way and the season is already lost. The three big signings done under Egea (Nestor Calderon, Mauro Formica and Joffre Guerron) have all under performed. The biggest signing, Chilean national team star Marcelo Diaz, came in with the season already under way and has struggled with the altitude in Mexico City.

The most worrying thing, however, is a long term problem that isn't specific to either of the three coaches and is the poor results in producing players from Pumas youth teams. While Pumas youth teams used to be the best in the country, this season they are far behind teams like Chivas, Pachuca and Atlas. The recent financial struggles (something common in Pumas history) means the team has to rely on youth players and they mostly have failed to have any impact. All of these moves have increased the pressure on President Rodrigo Ares de Parga. Ares de Parga has now become the focal point of Pumas fans criticism. After the loss to Cruz Azul, Pumas fans waited for the team bus to protest their play and it looks like things are all pointing toward him being next in line in the chopping block. But like with Palencia, it might not be enough for a real change.