Estadio Azteca doesn’t weigh as heavy as it used to — no real difference maker in the last few games.
The Estadio Azteca, located in Santa Ursula in Mexico City, is an iconic football stadium known around the world. Sitting tall at 7,280 feet above sea level, it has caused countless players, both domestic and foreign, to feel the real effects of high altitude in losing air capacity and slowing them down on the field. Estadio Azteca, also known as the “Coloso de Santa Ursula,” used to be a stadium in which players hated playing in. Liga MX teams are no longer afraid, any team comes in to the bright lights of El Azteca and sees the potential of at least coming away with one point. Now, whether it may be the recently decided night games or the lack of positive crowds in the stands, América needs to remind everyone what kind of stadium they play in and playing at home a prolific advantage.
A draw for América hosting one of Liga MX’s smallest clubs, Puebla, this past saturday is clearly unaccepatable. Los Camoteros see themselves amidst a relegation battle, and knew coming in, they had nothing to lose going out and matching América with attack-driven plays and goal opportunities. The 0-0 tie caused much havoc, rumors beginning to arise Ricardo La Volpe’s coaching job will be available soon. By Sunday night, television pundits advised RVP will be relieved of his coaching duties and possible replacements were brought up, such as recently noted River Plate manager, Marcello Gallardo. Football Sporting Director, Ricardo Pelaez, quickly put any rumors aside as he committed to La Volpe’s work and advised the head coach is here to stay, not because of financial issues for a replacement, but because he finds no real crisis in the team and is confident the team will pull out of the “not-so-average” start to the season.
América’s B team seems to be the more stable one
Apart from Guemez’ failed “Cuauhteminha”, the central defensive midfield spots for América seem solid. With the addition of Cristian Paredes and his agile awareness to bring the ball forward allows for a wide play in the counter that América is fonder of. A fundamental tactic which won the team back to back CONCACAF Champions League titles (don’t believe me? Check out both 2015 and 2016 finals against Montreal and Tigres, respectfully.)
Three days after América hands Puebla a point, Coras Tepic visited Las Aguilas in Mexico City. Kick off begins with a sluggish start by both teams, and if you were watching your first ever Mexican Soccer game, you wouldn’t know which team was in the first division and which one was in the second.
The most deadly ball in the first half for América came on the 30th minute mark, youngster Manuel Perez puts in a through lob pass in the box to a wide open “Miky” Arroyo only for it to just be out of reach of the wing player. Regardless, the play was called offside correctly by the linesmen.
It was truly one of América’s ugliest games in recent years, no real flow of the ball and no stellar plays to show star power. The only goal in the game fell quite early, just a bit under 10 minutes into the game. A loft pass traveling 20 yards from exactly midfield goes into Manuel Perez but is headed out of danger by a Coras defender. The ball falls sweetly into Silvio “Chino” Romero who touches a cheeky, back-heel pass into a running Darwin Quintero just outside the box. The ball gets cleared quickly by a scattered Coras defense which then rolls about 3 yards into Michael “Miky” Arroyo’s right foot. Miky’s “one-time” shot towards goal bounces into the bottom right corner and through the goalkeeper’s hands for the one goal lead. And as Michael Arroyo stated at the end of the game, they need a lot more to be the best team they can be.
As América played with mostly bench players on Tuesday against Coras Tepic, it couldn’t be clearer that the team needs to identify themselves quickly. And as the dust settles in Coapa, América scatters to defend in the last 15 minutes in the game to hold onto the 1-0 lead and head to Guadalajara with a win in a midweek Copa MX game. The pressure couldn’t be more obvious in Mexico City.
Marchesin looks to be settling in, just in time.
After letting in 13 goals in the first two months of the Clausura 2017 season, Augustin Marchesin looks to have finally settled in with Las Aguilas. It would’ve been at least 14 goals if Marchesin were to not stop the penalty against Coras Tepic yesterday. Early in the second half of that game, Erik “Puma” Pimentel committed an oblivious penalty to a Coras Tepic forward. The América goalkeeper dove towards the left side to stop a would-be goal with his right foot.
Positioned in 14th place in the league in goals conceded, Marchesin and his defense will be up against 3rd place in Goals scored, Chivas. Statistically, El Rebaño Sagrado seem the better team going in to Saturday’s matchup but the last seven encounters in Estadio Chivas seem to favor América coming out on top. Looking for vengeance from last year’s Clasico in Estadio Azteca, Los Azulcremas will be looking to make history by winning eight games in a row away in Guadalajara, making it their home away from home.
All in all, América earned a much-needed victory prior to their clash against eternal rival, Chivas de Guadalajara, this weekend. There’s no other game to win like the Super Clásico and only the players can be the difference maker once Mexico’s biggest fan bases face each other. Whether the tide goes América’s way will be determined come Saturday night.