An offseason of upheaval beckons at Chivas

Posted by Tom Marshall

Refugio Ruiz/Getty ImagesCould Hector Reynoso be on his way out of Chivas?

There could be no more depressingly appropriate way for Chivas to end this Apertura than collapsing against Monterrey inside the last 10 minutes to give up the lead and lose 2-1.

A victory to crown a season of lows wouldn’t have fitted.

In the final reckoning, Chivas finished in 16th position, with the second-worst defensive record in the league. The club managed only two wins in 17 matches.

What comes next is vital.

Club owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes -- who have tended toward making radical changes when things have gone badly -- need to tread very carefully as they embark on what could be a pivotal period in Chivas’ long history.

If the poor management from top down is continued, there is every chance Chivas will be playing second division soccer in the Apertura 2015.

If the right decisions are made and, crucially when it comes to Chivas, stuck with, there is no reason that Guadalajara can’t “do an America” and recoup quickly.

Las Aguilas finished the Apertura 2011 season in 17th place, before sweeping changes in the playing staff, management and directors reawakened the club.

Following the disastrous season, America reached the semifinal in the two subsequent tournaments and then lifted the Clausura 2013. The heavy investment in the playing squad as well as putting the right people in place paid off.

So with the vacations now on, the big questions at Chivas are who should stay and who should go in order to stop the rot.

Is Vergara confident that Dennis te Kloese is the person with the overall strategy to move the club forward? Is Juan Carlos Ortega the right person to be coaching the team?

On the playing side, regulars during the recent past like captain Hector Reynoso and Luis Michel could be set to leave. Miguel Sabah’s departure has long been rumored, while some of the younger players who haven’t stepped up could also be shown the door.

Then there is the issue of Marco Fabian that seems to be splitting fans.

His talent is not in question, but his ability to consistently show it and live up to expectations must be. Fabian is entering the prime years of his career, although there is little sign of that on the pitch. Should he be shipped off?

It is no secret Chivas’ defense needs tightening up, but how that should be done depends on whether Ortega is kept on and continues to play his 5-3-2 formation.

Carlos Salcido’s name keeps coming up and he admitted over the weekend he would relish a return. At least it would bring some attitude back and a dose of professionalism. Then there is the prospect of a big-name signing like Carlos “Gullit” Pena. Would Pena be interested considering the club’s plight? Would he leave Leon with the club in the Copa Libertadores? And next year there is a little event called the World Cup. But what other headline-grabbing signings are out there?

There may well be a break in games and the squad goes on vacation until later this month, but behind the scenes this is unlikely to be a postseason with much rest at Chivas.

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