The new manager said there will only be "small modifications" to the team's style, even though his Tijuana side deployed a different formation.Teams under Miguel Herrera have played roughly the same way since "El Piojo" became a head coach back in 2002 at Atlante. It was at the same club he soaked up the teachings of former Mexico coach Ricardo La Volpe as a player.
But without any shade of doubt, the culmination of Herrera's 11-year career on the bench has come in 2013 with Club America, where his 5-3-2 system, with players pressing forward and the wing backs playing at times more like standard wingers, has combined pleasing soccer with winning titles.
It was therefore little surprise that he took the bulk of his America team with the Mexico national team for the playoff against New Zealand, with time limited to integrate new players into a system that stresses overall organization over specific individuals.
Seven players from the America team started in each of those playoff games, but those players' realities at Las Aguilas are going to change with the official announcement Tuesday that Antonio Mohamed is taking over.
The repercussions for Herrera and the national team could be significant.
Mohamed played more of a counterattacking style when Tijuana hit its peak in the Copa Libertadores, with a 4-3-3 formation based on one central holding midfielder (Cristian Pellerano), two central midfielders (Joe Corona, Fernando Arce) to contribute both ends of the field and two flying wingers charged with cutting inside to help a lone striker.
The Argentina native announced in his introductory press conference that there would only be "small modifications" to the way America plays, but at the first sign of problems, the obvious thing to do would be revert to what you know.
The immediately striking detail is what it means for wing backs Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar if Mohamed does go with a normal back four.
The subject of abuse on social media networks, Layun was an outcast in Mexican soccer when Herrera arrived at America at the back end of 2011.
The former Atalanta player's rise under Herrera has been one of the most positive success stories in Mexican soccer in the last two years, but while man management was surely a key ingredient, so was the fact Layun found his perfect position.
First on the right and later on the left, Layun used his exceptional stamina to get up and down the wing, was able to beat players going forward, supply crosses and score goals. Crucially, in the defensive zone, he had three center backs covering for his attacking surges.
In Mohamed's new America, that could be different and Layun will need to show an improvement defensively to hold down a fullback position. On the other side, Aguilar too will be forced to adapt.
The risk is that if neither can, the player's confidence could drop and Herrera will have a real decision to make over the wing back positions, which would be a shame considering the America players' form over the last year.
In central defense, Mexico international Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Valenzuela face a battle just to start matches if Mohamed does stick with two center backs.
Paraguayan Pablo Aguilar has been outstanding for Club Tijuana and appears set to join America — according to numerous reports — meaning that Rodriguez, Valenzuela, Aquivaldo Mosquera and the newcomer would be fighting for just two or three places.
In central midfield, Juan Carlos Medina fits the bill in the defensive role and is in a similar mold as Egidio Arevalo and Pellarano, players Mohamed relied heavily on at Xolos.
Upfront, Mohamed has stated a new striker is coming to America and Raul Jimenez's position will be under threat should a big name come in and the new coach does resort to his usual tactics.
Of course, all this depends on how Mohamed sets up his America side, but he'll surely want to impose his ideas on the giant club. How quickly he tries to change promises to be fascinating, with Herrera hoping it won't be too soon and ideally after the World Cup.