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The Curious Case of los Coyotes de Tlaxcala

Los Coyotes de Tlaxcala

Tlaxcala, located a mere 75 miles or so from the bustling modern megalopolis that is Mexico City, is not exactly one of the first places that comes to mind when you think about Mexican fútbol. The state, which constantly ranks as one of the most impoverished in all of Mexico, has never had a team play in the country’s top flight. As a result of lacking a proper fútbol team to call their own, the citizens of Tlaxcala adopted the likes of Cruz Azul, Club America, and Pumas UANM due to these teams having a relatively close proximity to Tlaxcala. However, in 2013 the lack of a proper fútbol team was no more as a local ownership group (Grupo Provedencia) and the nationally renowned Grupo Pachuca established Coytotes de Tlaxcala FC.

From the very moment of their inception, los Coyotes have been a powerhouse within the Segunda Division (3rd tier of professional fútbol in Mexico). The vast scouting network and wealth of part owners Grupo Pachuca enabled los Coyotes the chance to assemble something of a super team in comparison to their fellow league opponents. However, this supposed super team failed to deliver a championship in both its inaugural and 2nd tournaments; bested by Potros UAEM, Loros de Colima, and Tampico Madero all of whom were promoted to Ascenso MX.

Without having to worry about playing any of the sides that were promoted to Ascenso MX the season prior, los Coyotes de Tlaxcala claimed the Segunda Division title in two consecutive tournaments earning themselves automatic promotion to Ascenso MX. Not only did los Coyotes win the Liguilla two times consecutively, but they were also the team in first position of the table after the Clausura campaign. This level dominance on the field is rarely seen at any level of professional fútbol in Mexico, making it all the more impressive that a team from tiny Tlaxcala was able to achieve this level of success.

Coyotes Tlaxcala FC

Los Coyotes have achieved just about everything possible for a team in the Segunda Division. However, this on the field success might be overshadowed by an obscure rule in regards to promotion to Ascenso MX. According to the league rules, agreed upon by Ascenso MX owners, all newly promoted teams must have a stadium capacity of at least 15,000 seats. Tlaxcala’s home ground, Estadio Tlahuicole, barely seats 12,000 according to the club’s website. This might be a bit of an exaggerated statistic as other websites list the ground with a capacity of anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 seats.

Estadio Tlahuicole
La Polilla Tlaxcala

To make matters worse, the stadium is a rather dilapidated and would take a serious deal of investment from the owners in order to have it meet league standards for the upcoming season. This factoid has led to many members of the “Mexican fútbol twitter-sphere” to suggest that los Coyotes will be sold and moved elsewhere. However, much to the delight of the faithful fans in Tlaxcala, the owners of los Coyotes have already begun talks with the local government about renovating and increasing the capacity of the stadium to meet Ascenso MX specifications and standards.

Following recent talks between ownership groups, the government of Tlaxcala, and Ascenso MX leadership it was determined that los Coyotes wouldn’t be able to play in Ascenso MX for the upcoming (17-18) season. Instead, the team from Tlaxcala will be allotted that same time to improve the capacity of Estadio Tlahuicole. If the stadium capacity is properly improved during the upcoming (17-18) season, los Coyotes will be able to begin play in Ascenso MX during the 2018-2019 seasons. A similar plan was used to help Loros de Colima achieve promotion to Ascenso MX a year ago.