FC Juarez defeated Monarcas Morelia on Sunday night at the Olimpico Benito Juarez by a score of 3-0. What helped Los Bravos were the changes to their starting XI.
We saw the debut of Bruno Romo who arrived at the club as a much-needed reinforcement in the defensive line. Gabriel Caballero, manager of FC Juarez, also opted to start Luis Lopez as a fullback instead of youngster Jose Rodriguez, who had started the last two league matches. These changes made Juarez field a vastly improved backline with experience. Aside from these changes, there are three things we learned from this match that will shape how the season plays out. Let us begin.
1. Diego Rolan has adapted to Liga MX
Diego Rolan put on a masterclass performance for Los Bravos against Monarcas. The Uruguayan has begun this season right where he left off in the Apertura. Anytime Rolan touches the ball there is a scoring opportunity. His one on one skill is underrated as well as his ability to cut inside and play a through ball for Dario Lezcano or get a shot off on goal. Rolan’s prowess around goal and importance are most clearly seen on how other teams mark him. Opposing teams often send two men whenever Rolan touches the ball on the wing. They make sure he can’t get across off or cut inside essentially only allowing him to play it behind. Diego Rolan has adapted to Liga MX and its only a matter of time until he completely dominates games for Los Bravos.
2. Jefferson Intriago and Joaquin Esquivel are the unsung heroes for FC Juarez
Jefferson Intriago and Joaquin Esquivel are the backbones for FC Juarez. Intriago constructs every play by serving as the glue between the attackers and the defenders. Intriago can be seen tracking all the way down to the backline to start constructing a play. Watching him play is like watching a band conductor at work. Esquivel is the perfect holding midfielder that FC Juarez was missing for many years. When the team is on the offensive you can see him move in between both center backs allowing Juarez to play with three in the back with the fullbacks moving up the field. This quality should not overshadow his ability to attack. Esquivel is also effective in the attacking third which makes him versatile. His goal versus Pumas last season perfectly captures the type of player Esquivel is for Los Bravos. Jefferson Intriago and Joaquin Esquivel are the most underrated midfield duo in Liga MX.
3. Gabriel Caballero appears to have evolved for the best
Having Gabriel Caballero as a manager has had its ups and downs. For the past seasons, he was notorious for parking the bus as soon as Juarez obtained a minimal lead. Last Sunday showed us a glimmer of hope that things may change for Clausura 2020. A usual Caballero game would have seen a defender come in at the start of the second half to secure three points at home. Instead, we saw him stick with the starting XI and then make substitutions that would increase the pressure on Morelia. It wasn’t until the last few minutes that he took out a striker for a holding midfielder. This style of coaching by Caballero shows a winning mentality. It shows that he wants to win with authority. This is a welcome change for FC Juarez fans that have grown accustomed to a coach who was stuck in the mindset that he was still in Ascenso. Hopefully, this is a trend that continues for Gabriel Caballero and FC Juarez.