Liga MX coaching changes continue with Santos Laguna firing Reyes

Azael Rodriguez
After heavy defeat to Tigres and no wins in four league games the club has parted ways with the 50-year-old manager

Santos Laguna became the ninth Liga MX club to fire their head coach this season after the club let Salvador Reyes go on Thursday, meaning exactly half the teams in the league have made coaching changes this year.

Reyes is the second coach in the league to be fired this week, after Chivas bid farewell to manager Jose Cardozo on Sunday.

Reyes and his assistant Luis Canay were dismissed after a 3-0 defeat to Tigres in the Concacaf Champions League semifinal on Wednesday.

The club issued a statement on Thursday saying:

“After a meeting between members of the sporting committee, it has been decided that Salvador Reyes and Luis Canay will no longer assume their respective roles of head coach and head physical trainer of the first team.

"The club will continue to meet and define which actions will follow. In the interim, Ruben Duarte, Rafael Figueroa, Juan Pablo Rodríguez and Juan Manuel Rodríguez will assume responsibility.”

In the Apertura this year Santos finished fourth, only losing two games and scoring in every regular season contest, but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Monterrey 3-0 on aggregate.

Reyes’ best recent results had been in CCL play, eliminating the New York Red Bulls 6-2 over two legs in the quarterfinal.  

There has been a drop-off in league form, though. Los Guerreros haven’t won in Liga MX play since February 25, gaining only one point from the four games since then.

The recent bad run of form has seen Santos slip from fifth to tenth place where the club currently sits two places, but four points, outside of the playoffs.

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With them now staring Champions League elimination in the face they club have moved on from their head coach, who was appointed in August.

Reyes took over a club riding high after a Clausura title win last season and used to success at this time of year after four league titles in the Clausura since 2008. If the Torreon club miss the Liguilla in the Clausura this year it would mark the first time since 2011 it has failed to advance to the playoffs.

The interim replacement for Reyes is Ruben Duarte, promoted from Santos’ U-20 side. He has a tough run in with four of Santos’ six remaining league games against teams above them in the table.