After a third-place finish last season, the Pumas have stumbled out of the Clausura 2019 gate. Coach David Patiño hopes for new additions to his roster.
Sitting 13th in the Clausura 2019 table, the UNAM Pumas have only captured 1 point from two games and lost their Copa MX opener against Atlas. Already in his third campaign with the Pumas, coach David Patiño has worked wonders without the benefit of big signings. Now, he is looking for help
Last year, the Pumas started both the Clausura 2018 and the Apertura 2018 with wins in their first two games. In the Clausura 2018, UNAM finished seventh but were knocked out of the playoffs by crosstown rivals America in the first round.
More from Viva Liga MX
- Guillermo Ochoa is out 4-6 weeks
- The Clásico Regiomontano is Heating Up
- Pumas: In Search of Regaining a Top Spot
- Why the United States Is Set to Overtake Mexico on the World Stage
- Erick Gutierrez is out once again
For the Apertura 2018, Pumas management was heavily criticized for allowing key players to depart (top striker Nicolas Castillo went to Portugal’s Benfica, right back Jose Carlos Van Rankin was traded to Chivas and midfielder/fullback Jesus Gallardo went to Monterrey). However, Patiño did a magnificent job and the Pumas finished third in the standings, defying pundits with their solid performance throughout the season.
Unfortunately for the Pumas, they ran up against their bitter rivals America again, this time in the semifinals. The first match at UNAM ended in a 1-1 tie, but in the second leg América smashed the Pumas 6-1. The only consolation is that the Aguilas went on to win the title so the Pumas could claim they lost to the champs.
Publicly, Patiño has stated that he is not worried about the slow start to the season though he did confess that his team is in a desperate need of reinforcements.
No doubt, the coach deserves a great deal of the credit for keeping the Pumas relevant even though he is very obviously short of weapons. UNAM welcomes Atlas to Estadio Olimpico Universitaro on Sunday in Matchday 3, and though the Zorros are currently a few spots ahead of the Pumas in the table, the home team will be favored. If Patiño doesn’t get the expected result, his argument for reinforcements will be that much stronger.