America is suffering a shaky Apertura 2019 and coach Miguel Herrera erupted after the embarrassing loss to Cruz Azul.
As the “visiting team” at Estadio Azteca on Saturday night, America was handed one of the toughest losses of the tournament as “host” Cruz Azul roughed up the Aguilas. The Azulcrema fell behind early but forged into the lead before half time only to see La Maquina score 4 goals in the second half. Coach Miguel Herrera was not happy.
Everybody knows “El Piojo” Herrera has a quick temper, and he lost his composure as things turned against his team. Towards the end of the match, Herrera received a red card for his constant harassment of the referee, Marco Antonio Ortiz. “El Piojo” was sent to the showers early, but that did not end his outburst.
On his way to the dressing room, Herrera walked through the mixed zone where media outlets are stationed to interview players and coaches. As he passed the journalists, “Piojo” responded to a question about the game by insulting Ortiz and using a homophobic slur.
Since the Mexican Soccer Federation is (finally) taking a stand to address to constant use of a homophobic chant on goal kicks and free kicks during league matches as well as national team games, Liga MX officials had no choice but to take action. Herrera was handed a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine. The FMF could have used this sanction to demonstrate they want to eliminate the offending phrase but the suspension was the minimum mandated by league rules. There was no additional punishment handed down. America team officials are also supposedly looking at taking action against “El Piojo” although his job is not in jeopardy.
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Herrera videotaped an apology in which he appeared contrite, although his promise to learn from his poor behavior falls on deaf ears, because his angry outbursts are a regular show on the sidelines and his insults and complaints are common in his post-game press conferences. Who can forget his physical attack of a journalist at an airport following a game in 2015 when he was the manager of El Tri. He was fired for that incident. Earlier this year, he suggested he did not regret the altercation.
In his apology, Herrera admitted he was setting a poor example for kids and that he besmirched the image of America, a proud organization. We won’t get to see if he has learned his lesson until Matchday 17 as his suspension will force him to miss games against Necaxa, Puebla and San Luis. America is in 4th place with 21 points and the Aguilas still must serve their bye.
Herrera is one of most successful coaches in the Liga MX and he has won with every team he has coached, but his explosive temperament has always been on display. We have to wonder how many more chances “El Piojo” will get if his behavior is not corrected.