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Atlético Morelia vs. Mazatlán FC: The birth of a new rivalry?

The new Liga de Expansion franchise has a strong message for its Liga MX replacement, Mazatlán FC

Morelia v Cruz Azul - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After the latest Owners’ Assembly which took place this past Friday, it was revealed that Zacatepec would cease to exist and relocate to the state of Michoacán to officially become Atlético Morelia. This was undoubtedly great news to all the Morelia fans who had their 70-year-old team pulled out roots and all, to become Mazatlán FC. The downside to this new project is the new Atlético Morelia won’t be competing in Liga MX, but rather in Liga de Expansion MX, which means they’ll have to wait at least this entire year before actually competing for promotion back to First Division.

The roster will more than likely be made up mostly from the players who sported the Zacatepec green last season, while they have yet to announce what new faces will be added to the club. What is certain is that the Morelia people and fans will have a team competing in Liga de Expansion MX come July.

The new franchise had its official presentation before the media earlier this morning where José Luis Higuera, ex-Chivas president, was revealed as the new Atlético Morelia president. A smart move indeed by franchise ownership to insert a piece like Higuera, who has the experience and skill to lead a club to glory, as he proved in Guadalajara not long ago.

The most interesting part of this entire inaugural day for the new franchise was their second all-time tweet. In it, they expressed the following sentiment to the public in the text area: “We arrived to Morelia! We’re ready! #HistoryContinues” The tweet also had an image attached, which reads directly toward Mazatlán FC. The picture says: “History isn’t snatched away! To be continued…”

The sound that message conveys is not only a strong one, but one filled with pride, as well as a certain sense of having taken something of theirs; a feeling no sports franchise in the world would be OK with. Oh, what a matchup Atlético Morelia vs. Mazatlán FC would make if the Michoacanos can somehow gain promotion in a couple of years. The engines have been started and will begin to heat up for this possible matchup somewhere down the road which could ultimately end up turning into a heated rivalry, considering the geographical location of both cities and the added heavy weight of their recent binding histories.

Can Atlético Morelia stick out from the icky, mud-like Liga de Expansion MX once promotion is back on the table in a year? Can they make a quick return or will their project fall short as many bigger franchises have in the lower tier of Mexican Football? All those questions remain to be answered, but if there ever was a story that made for redemption, we are seeing its birth right before our eyes.