The coaches of the Liga MX semifinalists have a total of five league titles between them.
We are down to the Final Four in the Liga MX Apertura 2019 season and the Liguilla semifinals kick off on Wednesday.
So, now is a good time to take a quick look at the four men who guided their teams through the first round of the playoffs. Interestingly enough, two of the remaining four men still coaching in the playoffs came aboard during the season and quickly turned their team’s fortunes around.
Morelia’s Pablo Guede is the newcomer. He is in his first season in Liga MX. The other three coaches have each won at least one league championship.
América’s Miguel Herrera guided the Aguilas to the Clausura 2013 and the Apertura 2018 titles; Monterrey’s Antonio Mohamed is a two-time champ also, winning the Apertura 2012 with Tijuana and the Apertura 2014 with América; Necaxa’s Memo Vázquez led the Pumas to the Clausura 2011 championship.
These coaches have other trophies as well. Herrera won the Clausura 2019 Copa MX title and the Liga MX Champions Cup this summer. Mohamed hoisted the Apertura 2017 Copa MX during his previous term with the Rayados and Vázquez claimed the Clausura 2013 Copa MX with Cruz Azul.
Guede revived Morelia’s season
The 45-year-old Argentine was the first replacement coach of the Apertura 2019. Guede took over for Javier Torrente and his Monarcas have been a revelation.
He turned Morelia’s season around after taking over in late August, ironically enough after América defeated Morelia 1-0 on Matchday 5. That dropped the Michoacán-based club to 1-0-4, prompting Morelia management to fire Torrente.
The Monarcas went 7-3-3 after Guede took over and no other Liga MX team had more wins than Morelia over that same time span. The team also boasted a decent 27-18 goal differential to finish the season at +5 and qualified for the playoffs as the No. 7 seed.
Naturally, this is the first Liguilla for Guede and his Monarcas stunned everybody by eliminating the No. 2 seed, León. Morelia showed strength and grit and guile, playing a rough-and-tumble style that completely disrupted the free-flowing offense the Esmeraldas prefer. This physicality will be a necessity in the next round against América.