Liga MX: Guillermo Vazquez adds Veracruz salvation to fruitful managerial career
The relegation race was decided in the Liga MX in Week 16 of the Clausura 2018 as Lobos BUAP sealed its fate out of Mexico’s top-flight football league. Veracruz was almost guaranteed to be the team to relegate by many critics but the port city team prevailed and is here to stay in the Liga MX.
Los Tiburones Rojos’ road to salvation began with the peculiar appointment of Guillermo Vazquez as the new manager. The Mexican manager had only managed two Liga MX team in the past and both are among the biggest teams in the country, Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul.
Vazquez was the assistant manager under Ricardo Ferretti from 2006-2010 then took over as the head coach after “El Tuca” departed the club. “Memo” found quick success with Pumas UNAM as he led his hometown team to a championship in the Clausura 2011 competition. The once hero for Los Felinos became a villain as he became the manager of crosstown rivals Cruz Azul in Apertura 2013 tournament.
The Mexican boss led La Maquina to a Copa MX title in the Clausura 2013 and most notably a Liga MX final in the same tournament. Cruz Azul was somehow defeated by Club America in the final and was one of Los Cementeros’ most infamous moments in recent history. Los Celestes fell in penalties but an own goal by Alejandro Castro caused by a header by goalkeeper Moises Munoz prolonged the game to extra time then the decisive penalty shoot-out.
After his success with Cruz Azul and Pumas UNAM’s struggles, fans were calling for the return of Vazquez to the university side. “Memo” did come back to Pumas UNAM for his second stint with the team from 2014 to 2016. This stint was successful as he led the Mexico City team to a first-place finish in the Apertura 2015 and a final that was lost against his mentor Ricardo Ferretti and Tigres UANL.
Hoy la PERMANENCIA es una realidad. 👏🏻🦈
— Tiburones Rojos 🦈 (@ClubTiburones) April 22, 2018
Since his departure from Pumas UNAM back in 2016, Vazquez had stayed elusive and seemed to want a new challenge in his career. Teams that were challenging relegation like Monarcas Morelia were seeking the services of “Memo” but he declined a few offers and ended up with Veracruz in the Clausura 2018 competition. This was a completely distinct task for Guillermo Vazquez as he had been in charge of title-contenders but the pressure was the same if not more.
They say that the relegation race is like battling for a championship of its own and this was a task that the Mexican manager was up for. It was also a thoughtful appointment by Los Tiburones’ front office as the port city team would need to push for the playoffs to evade relegation. Veracruz did this as the team was in the playoff hunt up until this past weekend with 18 points before losing 3-0 to Toluca away from home.
The task was over before the start of that game in Toluca as Lobos BUAP fell 4-0 against Monterrey on Saturday night and had officially booked its ticket back into the Ascenso MX. Salvation seemed nearly impossible for Veracruz with money problems and only signing Carlos Esquivel in the Liga MX draft because of these problems. But the team prevailed under the leadership of Guillermo Vazquez who adds another feather to his cap with this achievement.