Sympathy for the Americanista

I like to imagine myself as someone with the capability for a fair share of empathy. I generally try to consider the feelings of others in life. It's just harder when those feelings are tied up in something that I find abhorrent. Thus, Americanistas (supporters of Club America) and I rarely see eye-to-eye.

They are generally not a bunch that bring about the warmest feelings in others. Their team is inherently loathsome to anyone but themselves. To make the decision to support such a team says something about you - and it's not great. While we can all clearly see that every Americanista made at least one terrible choice in the lifetime, they happen to be in what I personally deem the absolute correct frame of mind at the moment.

America is on the verge of its 12th title. This will elevate the club above their rivals with the most titles in the professional era of Mexican soccer. One would think everything within the fan base and the team of this club would be soaring at the moment. This has not been the case.

Antonio Mohamed took the reins at Club America after the departure of Miguel Herrera for permanent duty with the Mexican National Team. Mohamed had the unenviable task of assuming control from a manager with a large presence and set tactical approach. Guiding the team to success under these circumstances was akin to skipping through a minefield. So much could have gone wrong for Mohamed.

In fairness, it never really went that bad for the manager. Mohamed led the club to the Liguilla in his first season where they were bounced in the opening round on away goals to Santos Laguna. This is not a result that would normally sit well with the fan base, but the team was undoubtedly in transtion and minds were quickly shifting to the impending World Cup.

Things improved this season. America began the season with blitzkrieg ferocity. They plowed ahead and took a firm control at the top of the table. Yet, this team and the direction taken by its manager never quite won the hearts of many of its closest supporters. As the team plowed ahead and through the majority of their opponents, it also dropped points against each of its biggest rivals. The team lost to Pumas early in the season and were throttled by Cruz Azul later (sorry ... but it's all I have). In the clasico with Guadalajara, America surprisingly failed to get the three points.

Looking at the grand scheme, these slight hiccups shouldn't matter. But they absolutely do to the Americanista. The team is in contention for the title, but form matters. You can't lose to your biggest rivals. You can't win unconvincingly. When you believe that you're the best, you need to not only get the win but look like the best. The team needs to feel like the best, especially when the other big boys are involved.

Being a large group of fans that follows the most successful sports entity in any league places an even larger target in place. If there's a chance to poke the bear, it will be taken. This is rooted in a fair share of envy for the success of Club America from most and jealousy in the case of the Chivas supporters, as they feel their 'Team of Mexico' mantle being whisked away. These sentiments have led to current state of outrage among the outsider looking at the state of Club America and their fans. How could these America fans not be satisfied with the manager at the moment? How dare they!

It's been widely reported and speculated that Mohamed is not only on the hot seat but has already been replaced as the manager at Club America going forward. It is believed that win or not Mohamed will be leaving the team. Former Leon head man, Gustavo Matosas is thought to be the manager in waiting. Is this unfair to Mohamed? Of course, it is. Mohamed is a good manager with a proven track record.

The Americanista also has the right to be unfair, and I don't blame them for the feeling. If Mohamed is not putting the product that the front office and MORE importantly the fans want, he should be replaced. Unfair... yes. It also probably wasn't very fair when Mohamed replaced Joaquin del Omo at Tijuana. These things aren't fair, but they can certainly be justified.

Winning isn't everything, especially for clubs that are used to the feeling. If America do choose to go in another direction, they should absolutely do so (I just hope it starts a downward spiral of constant change that leads to a Chivas-like situation). Mohamed just might not be their guy.

Then again, Miguel Herrera wasn't exactly the most popular manager before that improbable win in the Azteca (sob).  These things have a way of working themselves out. 

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