Mazatlan FC are slipping. After what initially looked like a promising start to the year, Mazatlan quickly began to drop points with two draws and a loss in their last three games.
Tigres, to an extent, have been on an opposite trajectory.
A shaky start to the tenure of new manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera has gradually gained momentum with four points in the last two matches for Tigres.
And while Tigres have the benefit of a superior roster that exceeds that of most other Liga MX teams, Mazatlan remains a serious work in progress.
Even though they’re hosting Friday’s match, Mazatlan could easily misfire once again.
|Mazatlan FC vs Tigres UANL Information|
|Teams||Mazatlan FC vs Tigres UANL|
|Location||Estadio Mazatlan (Mazatlan, Mexico)|
|Time||Friday, August 20th at 7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||TUDN|
It was only a short matter of time before Tigres and Herrera started clicking.
Although he had massive shoes to fill after long-time manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti was dropped earlier this year, Herrera himself has been building an exceptional career of his own.
At club and international level since 2015, Herrera has earned a Gold Cup title, two Liga MX championships and one Copa MX trophy as a coach.
And despite the fact that he’s more widely-known as a brash and dramatic manager who perhaps speaks his mind a bit too much, behind the scenes, he’s a prolific leader.
The results speak for themselves, and with an incredible roster at his disposal, success will surely follow in the near future.
Speaking of his roster, one of Tigres’ newest additions was exceptional as well earlier this week.
There seems to be no lack of French superstars joining Tigres in the last few years.
This season, it was Florian Thauvin — a former Marseille and Newcastle United winger — who took his chance with a move across the Pacific Ocean to join Tigres.
And during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Queretaro, it only took him five minutes after being substituted in to make his mark.
After being asked to step in during the 2nd half, Thauvin perfectly placed a shot in the top right hand corner of the net to give Tigres their third and final goal by the 74th minute.
“He had to adapt to his teammates, to the rhythm of the league,” said an optimistic Herrera about Thauvin during the post-game press conference.
We’ll work to get him to his best level.
It’s not just Thauvin either who has stepped up.
In recent weeks, names like Leonardo Fernandez, Nico “Diente” Lopez, Javier Aquino and several others have started to finally pick up their speed.
Which perhaps isn’t that big of a surprise.
With arguably the most talented group of players in not only North American soccer, but maybe even the Western Hemisphere, Tigres are a true powerhouse.
To make things more challenging for Mazatlan, Tigres’ leading man in attack, Andre-Pierre Gignac, is expected to make his return this weekend.
And as for Mazatlan…
Mazatlan assistant coach Alejandro Isis knew he was lucky to earn a draw earlier on Tuesday.
Speaking in a post-game press conference after the 2-2 result against Toluca, Isis stated that he and his team were “happy with the result” away from home.
Mazatlan were outplayed in the draw, and when looking at xG (expected goals) numbers, they only earned a total of 0.3 in comparison to Toluca’s 1.5.
Once again, Mazatlan were lucky.
Looking forward, the big question is whether they could sustain this.
They were fortunate to earn a draw against Toluca, and in their previous game, they were demolished 3-0 by Leon.
Mazatlan are without a win this month and will likely continue that streak on Friday.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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