Leon hires Nacho Ambriz to replace Gustavo Diaz as manager

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Etzel Espinosa
The well-traveled manager, who played for Leon, is being brought in as the Guanajuato side looks to turn things around this tournament

A familiar face will take over Club Leon with Ignacio "Nacho" Ambriz taking over from Gustavo Diaz as manager, the Guanajuato club announced Tuesday.

Leon's 3-0 defeat to Santos Laguna on Sunday was the second consecutive loss for the club, which currently sits in 15th place in the league with 10 points from nine matches. That's enough for the club directors to bid farewell to the Uruguayan manager in hopes things will go better under the former Leon defender.

"We've made this decision based on his great experience as manager of different clubs in our country, his formation at European clubs, his great knowledge of Mexican soccer and the Mexican player and his unforgettable arrival as captain of the national team," a Leon statement read. "But above all it's his solid human principles, like his leadership, solidarity, courage, commitment, hard work and dedication on and off the field that best mark Ignacio Ambriz with the values of our club."

Leon will be the sixth Liga MX team the 53-year-old Ambriz has coached with the manager having a 38.29 winning percentage overall in Mexico with his time with Ascenso club San Luis included. He helped Club America to a CONCACAF Champions League title in the 2015-16 campaign and led Necaxa to the 2018 Copa MX Clausura title before being let go from the club after failing to reach the Liguilla.

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Ambriz's new club also missed out on the postseason last tournament and is headed down the same path in the Apertura if things don't get turned around in the next few matches. Leon bid farewell to many players who had been part of the club's core for several tournaments this summer, with Elias Hernandez, Andres Andrade, Hernan Burbano and Guillermo Burdisso among those who headed for the exits.

New additions brought in to improve the team, including goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota and midfielder Pedro Aquino, haven't been able to paper over the cracks, especially at the back where the club has allowed 14 goals so far this season. 

Ambriz's first match with Leon will be Saturday's home contest against Lobos BUAP, which sits in the penultimate position of the league. The team also remains alive in the Copa MX and will travel to face Ambriz's former Necaxa side next week in the round of 16.

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