The Burrito Wrap - 25th March


Tortilla time! The Burrito Wrap is back, looking at CONCACAF, Puebla and a spot of deja vu.


CONCACAF dreaming...


Liga MX 3-0 MLS. Last week served to underline what most people already knew - the Liga MX is still a long way ahead of MLS in terms of… well, just about everything that fans deem important. If you want a well-oiled publicity machine that’s a operated like a chain of McDonalds franchises then look north of the Rio Grande. If you’re looking for talent, tactical knowledge, good managers and coaches, fan passion and continental success than stay south of the river.


It’s not that MLS is boring, the league appears to have close games, good on-field battles, heated rivalries, and plenty of goals. But so does the Mexican Tercera Division. MLS is all just a bit - average?


There are clearly fundamental issues with the way the league is set up in the US. For a league’s star-players to be ‘past it’ Europeans doesn’t bode well for their future. Mexico is blessed with its proximity to the USA and its historical and cultural ties to Latin America. Those ties combined with Mexico having one of the three strongest leagues in all the Americas make it a highly attractive proposition to emerging and established talent from Latin America - the only other region in the world that can match Europe’s player development. MLS will never have this luxury.


A proper article comparing the MLS and Liga MX is for another day. For now it is sufficient to say that the annual charade of hearing that the MLS is now, finally better than the Liga MX looks set to continue for a good many years yet.


Puebla - 2016 Ascenso MX Champions…


Poor Puebla. They headed into 2014 with a 11 point advantage over Atlante in the Relegation Table, but now find themselves just four points clear of the Cancun-based side. In January they drew their first three games and even then very few people would have suggested they faced a battle to stay in the division.


By contrast, Atlante are one of the most in-form sides in the league (Pumas result excluded). Anyone who said in January that they would be fifth with five games to play would have branded you crazy. In truth both Atlas and Atlante have been playing well for a month and deserve to be where they are (Atlas are twelfth). Atlas have now passed Puebla in the relegation coefficient table, and if the Guadalajara side win their head-to-head in Week 14 they will almost certainly finish in front of them.


It is no surprise that the league’s bottom two sides in the general table are 16th and 17th in the relegation table. I write a weekly column elsewhere about the relegation battle, so I pay a lot of attention to the games of these four teams. Puebla and Veracruz have been comfortably the two worst sides in the division in 2014 and clearly face a tough battle to stay up.


Last week I spoke about how the relegation battle would be a lot more exciting without the convoluted coefficient system. Whilst I stand by my point I think most observers thought the relegation battle would be a straight fight between Atlante and Atlas at the start of the season. We have now come full circle, and although it would be rash to suggest Atlante are safe they look infinitely better equipped than both Puebla and Veracruz to stay up.


I don’t think Puebla will go down this season. I think Veracruz will face the drop and Puebla will meet their fate in 2015 after they’ve lost their three-season-high 22 points from their coefficient.


We all wish them a speedy recovery in 2016, when they will win the Ascenso MX and return to the Liga MX reincarnated as… Veracruz.


Deja Vu...


A final note on some subjects we’ve touched on before...


Fan violence returned to the Liga MX in the Clasico Tapatio on Saturday. We’ve already spoken at length about the problem it poses to the Liga MX and the FMF, but it needs to be stopped. Families should not expect to go to football and fear for their safety. It hurts attendances, it’s off-putting to sponsors and tarnishes Mexico’s reputation abroad.


And... goalkeepers. Edgar Hernandez, awful goalkeeper. He has been directly fault for at least four goals over the last month, culminating in him being dropped last week in both the Round 11 tie against Toluca and the Copa MX Quarter-Final against Alebrijes. Well, he was back this weekend against this author’s beloved Tigres, and he produced one of the best goalkeeping displays I’ve seen in a long time.


Credit where it's due. He must read the blog and went out to prove a point… Edgar, if you’re reading - I still think you’re terrible.



By Daniel Price 


To continue the debate you can add a comment below or find me on Twitter by following @MexFooty


** photo is used under a Creative Commons license from Brian Gaid




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