Since the arrival of Matias Almeyda to Chivas in 2015, he had the tall order of saving the storied club from relegation. The former Argentina international was instrumental in helping River Plate return to Argentina’s first division back in 2012.
He became the 25th head coach under the tenure of much-maligned owner Jorge Vergara and the eighth overall since 2013. He also took over the youngest roster in Liga MX which has turned out very well since he arrived to Guadalajara.
He’s led the club to the quarterfinals of the Apertura and Clausura in back-to-back seasons, while also helping El Rebaño to two of the last three Copa MX Finals winning the cup in 2015. He currently holds a winning record of 26 wins, 15 draws and 18 losses using a grand total of 36 players – the majority of them being up-and-coming talents.
It’s only fitting that his 37th player for the new season will be a young highly-rated prospect in Rodolfo Pizarro (22), a youth product from the Pachuca farm system. Pizarro will join the ranks of an already loaded roster made up primarily of young talent under the age of 25.
— CHIVAS (@Chivas) December 13, 2016
Such has been the formula for Almeyda since his arrival as the club has added young talent through the transfer market and promoting from within. Orbelin Pineda (20), Alan Pulido (25), Angel Zaldivar (22), Carlos Cisneros (23) and Javier “La Chofis” Lopez (22) are some of the youngsters the club boasts.
Actually in the club’s first preseason match against Monterrey in Cancun, Chivas fielded a very offensive-minded squad with Pulido up top with Pizarro and Pinedo slotted behind the striker, Zaldivar and Isaac Brizuela as the wingers with Jose “El Gallito” Vasquez at the holding midfielder spot.
The club has done its part to reinforce Almeyda’s squad by acquiring established footballers like Pulido, Vasquez, Brizuela, Oswaldo Alanis, and Carlos “Gullit” Peña (On loan to Club Leon). The club also loaned out Marco Bueno (22) to Monterrey but welcomed the return of Carlos Fierro (22) from Copa MX Champions Queretaro.
Moreover, some of Chivas’ players earned call-ups to the Mexican National Team plus the Guadalajara-based club sent six players to the Rio Olympics this past summer. Their good form under the Argentine boss certainly helped the players get more exposure.
It seems the club has finally found some continuity after a some dark days and Almeyda has been a key factor in the resurgence of Chivas. Acquiring some of the best young talent across Mexico is paying dividends and will surely be plus moving forward. The talk of relegation-bound is over and has now morphed into perennial title contender.