How Will Club Tijuana Fans React To Miguel Herrera's Return?
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Today will bring one of Liga MX's highlights of the weekend. Miguel Herrera is back at the kennel. "El Piojo" will lead Club América as they take on his former squad: Tijuana's Xolos –named after a breed of Mexican hairless dogs. Will he make it out alive or will the hounds from northern Mexico tear Club América to pieces?
Arguably one of the best managers in Liga MX, Herrera is certainly among those with the most charisma. Some people think “El Piojo” was born to coach Club América based on his explosive and passionate character. This idea is further reinforced by the fact that Herrera led “Las Águilas” to their most epic championship title ever in 2013.
How will Tijuana fans greet their former manager after he left them to join los cremas, the most hated team in the country?
Truth be told, in recent years Herrera has been pretty good in almost every team he has managed. He is a beloved figure at Club América and was actually doing a pretty good job coaching Mexico until he botched it by (allegedly) physically attacking sports broadcaster Christian Martinoli.
Xolos was the last team Herrera coached before joining América this may. During his time leading Tijuana, Herrera got the team to finish in first place two seasons in a row. In the playoffs, however, they were sent off in the quarterfinals in the Clausura 2016 and then in the semifinals in the Apertura 2017.
Considering before Herrera came along the Xolos were in serious risk of being relegated, it is easy to see he did a great job while at TJ. For this reason, while “El Piojo” may have failed winning the Liga MX for Xolos, he remains a well appreciated man in the most fun border town on earth.
Back in 2013, Club América was under Herrera’s command and visited Tijuana. The result was a thrilling game that saw Las Águilas (playing with two men down for the most part of the game) dramatically beat Xolos, who were then the reigning champs, by a score of 1-2 . Four years have passed since that game but so much has changed. Out of the eleven players on the field playing for El Ame that night, only Paul Aguilar remains.
Early in the game, "Chucho" Benítez (RIP) was fouled inside the 18-yard box. This led to Oswaldo Martínez scoring a penalty for the 0-1. A few minutes later, Sambueza was sent off (as usual) after a second yellow card, leaving "Las Águilas" with ten men. Shortly before half-time, Aquivaldo Mosquera (aka Aquaman) also got a red card after a rough tackle on Fernando Arce.
Things were looking gloomy for Herrera even though he had a one goal advantage. Surprisingly enough, the aforementioned Paul Aguilar doubled the lead just minutes into the second half with a stunning shot from outside the box.
In the 75th minute, Tijuana scored a goal that prooved insufficient as Club América ultimately managed to claim the victory and the three points. Now Herrera is back and will try to get a similar outcome, if not with regards to half his team being sent off.
The question remains: as Miguel Herrara returns to Tijuana, will the Xolos bite the hand that used to feed them?
Some fans will no doubt scorn “El Piojo” for leaving while some others will likely cheer him in recognition of his labor at Tijuana. Rest assured, not one will greet him back indifferently.