Herrera's milestone marked by tricky tie

Posted by Eric Gomez

Club America coach Miguel Herrera will celebrate his 400th game on the touchline against ChivasGettyImagesClub America coach Miguel Herrera will celebrate his 400th game on the touchline against Chivas

Club America manager Miguel Herrera will coach his 400th match when his side face Chivas on Sunday, almost 11 years to the day when he first relieved Carlos Reinoso at the helm of Atlante to start his career. Though still without a championship in the Liga MX, the fiery 44-year-old is one of Mexico's top managerial stars, a man who has become increasingly quotable and now commands the Liga MX's most notorious side towards a possible league title, the first since 2005, by the way.

Herrera has tasted both success and failure against Club America's most hated rival in his rather short tenure with the team. During his first tournament with the squad, and facing a Chivas team that had been ripped to pieces by managerial turmoil, Herrera squeaked out a 1-0 win over Guadalajara at the Estadio Omnilife.

The next tournament, Chivas came in with its Dutch invasion, led by Johan Cruyff and John van't Schip. Against all odds and clinging to slim play-off hopes, the Goats crushed America 3-1 at the Estadio Azteca with a memorable performance from ex-americanista Rafael Marquez Lugo.

Known for an uncompromising offensive style that stems from the philosophy of his old Atlante boss Ricardo La Volpe, Herrera will at least promise a spectacle in Guadalajara this Sunday, against a more tenuous Chivas side coached by former Mexico national team-mate Benjamin Galindo. Many in the press have termed this Herrera's last chance at America, after a full year in which regular season success was the norm, but play-off wins eluding him.

And while this may be Herrera's last stand before a very uncertain summer for the Mexico City giants, it will most certainly be the last stand for two of the team's biggest stars. Diego Reyes (who will not be present on Sunday due to suspension) will leave for Porto. Christian Benitez, the Ecuadorian Liga MX superstar, is also almost certain to leave, as his quotes and attention-grabbing actions on the pitch and off have indicated for most of the tournament.

A win over Chivas isn't just the cherry on top of Herrera's cake with 400 candles on it, it is a chance to gear his team up for a run that will be increasingly difficult and pressure-packed, knowing full well that come the 2013/14 seasons, the organisation is likely to face somewhat of a rebuilding process sure to feature lax spending and plenty of chances for youth team prospects.

ESPN Conversations