Pachuca’s Liga MX title showcases Mexico’s next-gen stars

After watching Pachuca hoist Liga MX’s 2022 Apertura title on Sunday, one can’t help but compare it to last season. Los Tuzos He got a Mexican title in 2016. More than six years ago, the document looked the same.

Both records show a Uruguayan manager from Montevideo (Diego Alonso then, now Guillermo Almada) using a good style of play, a solid pitch in the regular season (8W-6D-3L and 30 points in 2016, 9W-5D-3L and 32 points in 2022) and most importantly, a balanced roster that featured promising college players.

It is known in Mexico for producing some of the country’s most exciting things — which led to a campaign in August with fellow talent Ajax — Los Tuzos He has thrived in the past few years with young options such as Hirving Lozano, Erick Gutierrez and Rodolfo Pizarro taking on the role in a big way. Before becoming household names, three stars were handed out by Alonso when the team made their way to the 2016 Clausura final against giants Monterrey.

Gutierrez, then only 20, wore the captain’s armband in the first leg. On his side, Lozano (20) and Pizarro (22) were important with their attacks that pushed them past. Los Rayados A 2-1 aggregate result sealed the Clausura competition.

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For Lozano and Gutierrez, moves to Europe, with the former at Napoli and the latter at PSV Eindhoven. Pizarro stayed in North America but increased his wealth with new league championships and personal awards such as the CONCACAF Champions League Best XI appearance in 2018 and the Liga MX Best XI appearance in the Clausura 2019.

With 30-plus caps each for Mexico, the three players are success stories from the Pachuca school. During this last week, it was easy to see the Tuzos prodigies can be the next lights from Liga MX.

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In the heart of the midfield, 23-year-old Erick Sanchez has a lot to offer. As one of the top players in the 8-2 aggregate pummeling of Toluca in the final, Sanchez covered a lot of ground with his defensive and playmaking skills. After making his senior debut with Mexico in the summer of 2021, the midfielder is now running for a World Cup spot this November.

Behind him on the left, Mauricio Isais, the 21-year-old American, is a revelation for Pachuca with his ability to make dangerous runs while providing important things at the back. Discovered in 2017 by Alianza, the largest national soccer program in the United States for Latino players, the Texan has the Liga MX title in hand, a goal in the league finals and an invitation to practice with Mexico before the World Cup.

Fellow Pachuca defender Kevin Alvarez has been a key member of the XI. Often running into the side as a right-back, the 23-year-old from Colima is a constant threat to Toluca, and looks forward El TriThe defender is a starter for the national team in Qatar.

The list is going as you review the Pachuca school schedule and the full list, and depending on how things are going in the market this may change. winter – TUDN reported on Sunday that teams from other countries are looking at midfielder Luis Chavez – until their last name. will prove to be the inspiration for the next great things in Mexican soccer. However, creating talent with the ability to impress is only part of the equation for Los Tuzos.

While providing the right platform for players to remain for the club in the 21st century, the other part of the puzzle required a coach to give opportunities to youngsters and also have in a good company with familiar names and foreign connections. From the end of 2021, Almada will be the right manager.

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“It speaks to the work that we have done this year since the arrival of Almada, who has produced a strong and strong sense of football,” said the defender Gustavo Cabral after the recording of Sunday’s competition.

Going to the end of last year, the experienced and enthusiastic coach used an attacking and direct style of play that gave important rights to school selections. Surrounding them in a 4-2-3-1 formation, veteran players such as Romario Ibarra, Oscar Murillo, Oscar Ustari and Golden Boot winner Nicolas Ibañez are the glue that has kept the common practices.

In last year’s Clausura, Almada and his roster qualified for the Liga MX finals, but fell short after losing to Atlas. Months later, they returned and made a statement with their elimination of Toluca.

“We’re going to take Pachuca where it needs to be,” Ibañez said after helping lift the Apertura trophy. “Today is a step forward and we are going for more.”

But will Almada, and some of his more watched players, hold up?

Suddenly there was a void in the Mexican dugout. There have long been reports that manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino will leave El Tri after the World Cup, and if that’s the case, then someone like Almada – who is not only a proven winner but also has a history with supporting young Mexican players – would be a good fit. fair enough. Through the long process in the creation of the 2026 World Cup, the Uruguayan coach is a worthy name that can usher in a new era and generation.

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The same can be said for his new opponent, Toluca manager Ignacio “Nacho” Ambriz. Despite the disastrous 8-2 scoreline at the end of the Apertura, Ambriz and his team have raised expectations in recent months. In the 15th time in the table last year, Ambriz has helped to adjust the important list this summer which is a work that will be successful but also solid to reach the end.

The outcoaching and release of all managers in the playoffs this season, apart from Almada, helped Ambriz restore his image as one of Mexico’s top coaches after a more exciting job in Spain’s second division in just a few months with Huesca in 2021.

“He’s smart,” Toluca midfielder Sebastian Saucedo told ESPN in October about Ambriz. “The way he does the training sessions, the value, all the little things … this guy is the real deal.”

Finally, Almada and Pachuca tie the Apertura match on Sunday. Determined with their times and carried by their talented school players, Los Tuzos They have won their seventh Liga MX trophy since 1999 and are currently tied for sixth (along with Pumas and Tigres) in the all-time table for Mexico’s top flight.

In 2023, Pachuca will have an opportunity to increase their visibility and popularity through the CONCACAF Champions League and the expanded Leagues Cup that will represent each MLS and Liga MX team. In their list, new competitions will increase new opportunities for minutes for the development of players from the club’s famous school.

Six years ago, Lozano, Gutierrez and Pizarro were promoted. This October, Sanchez, Isais and Alvarez will have the same respect. And in 2023? Expect to see more new faces emerging from the much-loved country playing football factory.

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