In the middle of the COVID-19 emergency and with the majority of the leagues stopped because of it, Nicaragua is a rarity that has pressed on. Tonight they will have their league final, with Real Esteli playing against Managua FC. There will be a Mexican presence in the final with Mexican players on both teams, the most notable being that of Taufic Guarch. Guarch was part of the Mexican 2011 U20 World Cup team which ended in third place, the best finish since the first U20 World Cup in 1977.
The Nicaraguan league will have a Mexican being crowned champion. Managua FC is one of the teams and has Mexican Carlos Felix on it’s roster. Meanwhile Real Esteli will have Fabrizio Tavano and Taufic Gaurch. They also have Manuel Rosas, who was born in Mexico but became a Nicaraguan citizen and plays with the Nicaraguan national team. Guarch is the most notable example, as he was once an important prospect in Mexico. With the U20 Mexican national team, he was the starting striker and key figure with the team. In prior competitions he was a key goal scorer up until the 2011 World Cup held in Colombia. In that tournament, he was able to score a long range goal in the group stage win against North Korea. Unfortunately for him, he would then miss a penalty kick against England in the next game, a match that would finish 0-0. Mexico would continue improving and finish in third place, the country’s best finish since their second place finish in the original U20 World Cup way back in 1977. Unfortunately for Guarch, he would not shine as much as some of his teammates and he would be overshadowed by other forwards, especially Edson Rivera.
Even with the setback in the World Cup, Guarch was able to make a move to Europe when Estudiantes Tecos (the team where he came up through) loaned him out to Espanyol B. Unfortunately he came back to Mexico where he failed to make it first with Tigres and then again with Tecos. Guarch would then start a long career in Ascenso with various teams, last playing with Atlante before making his current move to Nicaragua. This, while a rare move now, might be more common with the end of the Ascenso for a new developmental league. Yet because of the COVID-19 emergency, the eyes of Mexico will be with Guarch for the first time in years. Nicaragua’s league never stopped and although the game will not have any fans, it might not be the best move in the middle of the COVID-19 emergency. Still maybe Guarch will take advantage of the opportunity of something few would have thought would be noticed in Mexico under regular circumstances.