Cruz Azul has named their new coach, and it’s Peruvian Juan Reynoso who coached Puebla last season. While many expected it to be Hugo Sanchez, they couldn’t reach an agreement and La Maquina instead settled for Juan Reynoso. Reynoso was a historic player with Cruz Azul, where he played the majority of his career in Mexico and was part of the team that last won a championship. Reynoso had a notable coaching career in Peru prior to coaching Puebla.
Juan Reynoso’s career in Mexico had been one of the best ever for a Peruvian player. As a defender in Cruz Azul, Reynoso was at many times the defensive stalwart in a team that was solid and who last won a Liga MX title in 1997. From 1994 to 2002, he played in Cruz Azul before ending his playing career with Necaxa. Reynoso became a coach in his native Peru, where he had stints with important teams like Univesitario and Sporting Cristal before returning to Mexico with Cruz Azul. At Cruz Azul he was an assistant coach, and then coached in Cruz Azul Hidalgo in the Ascenso before returning to Peru. In Peru he had a great spell where he won three League titles with Melgar. His good results ended up giving him an opportunity as coach in Mexico’s first division at Puebla. His career with Puebla was somewhat better than expected, with his team showing flashes of good skill but not getting great results. In this past Apertura 2020, Puebla went to the Repechaje with a 12th place finish, something that wouldn’t have been enough for the team to qualify in other seasons. In the repechaje they had the biggest surprise by eliminating reigning champions Monterrey in a penalty shootout. Then in the Quarterfinals they defeated eventual champions Leon at home before bowing out in the return leg. To the surprise of many, Reynoso’s career with Puebla ended, and it looked like he would be out of Mexican football before the surprise signing by Cruz Azul.
Reynoso getting the Cruz Azul job was a surprise to many, especially as many in the press had already declared Hugo Sanchez as the head coach. Reynoso has the history with the team, but his results with Puebla weren’t exceptional and many people in Cruz Azul feel exceptional numbers are needed to get a job from a team that many consider to be one of the big four. Yet Reynoso has experience and might be the right fit to the job, although with only a week before the Liga MX starts he is already at a disadvantage.