By Joel Aceves
Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s most traditional football cities, is
set to receive a makeover that can potentially revive the once-healthy
dose of competition stemming from the country's province. One of the
Mexican league's earliest rivalries were those that pitted the Province
against the Mexico City clubs.
The once-healthy rivalry,
however, disappeared as soon as Guadalajara club’s Oro and Leones
Negros folded. As the Mexican league decentralized and expanded to
cover territory as far as Quintana Roo and even border town Ciudad
Juarez the Mexico City teams also suffered. Soon Atlante and Necaxa
were relocated and province vs. city clubs became a thing of the past.
the exception of Chivas the remaining Guadalajara clubs were not able
to garner any interest outside the city. Atlas has not been able to win
a league title since the 1951 season, the joke remains that there are
no color pictures of Atlas holding any silverware, while Tecos last
tasted glory nearly 15 years ago.
Football in Guadalajara had
indeed grown stale. That was at least until Jorge Vergara purchased
Chivas and had the club competing for top honors. Amongst Vergara’s
wishes to transform the club was the need for Chivas to have their very
Thus, Vergara deciding that Chivas is too big a
club to share custody of Jalisco stadium with the Civil Association of
Jalisco United Clubs (which is composed of Atlas, Oro Social and
Athletic club, University of Guadalajara, and Chivas) has given rise to
a makeover of Guadalajara clubs.
Chivas will be relocating to
the outskirts of the city to their very own stadium which is being
touted as Latin America's most modern football venue. Taking over Chivas
spot at the Jalisco stadium will be Leones Negros who had disappeared
15 years ago. Leones return comes via Vergara’s decision to sell Chivas
feeder team and Primera A side Tapatio to a University of Guadalajara
patronage headed by Jorge Zambrano Villa.
“We want to
acknowledge the signature of an agreement with Chivas, in which the
University of Guadalajara acquires club Tapatio which from now on will
become Leones Negros,” confirmed U de G general director Marco Antonio
Cortes Guardado at a press conference unveiling the agreement.
and foremost I want to thank the University of Guadalajara for giving
us the confidence to come to an agreement, we are very pleased that
Leones Negros can return to Primera A,” added Vergara. “We hope that
Leones can soon achieve the desired results so that they can win
promotion to first division because in Guadalajara there is room for
one more club. Obviously, U of G left a great impression during their
years of play and the proof is that there is high interest in the
return of the Leones Negros,” concluded the Chivas supremo.
to be outdone neighboring Tecos UAG also announced a change in the
“Truth is we needed a change in the institution, with
refreshing ideas from people that will incorporate to the club, which I
am sure will help us shake things up around here and have a better
team,” said Tecos president Antonio Leano.
Helping the Tecos
face-lift will be Juan Jose Frangie, the former Chivas general
director, who along with a group of investors will be sponsoring and
managing the club. “We want this project to be open to all the
republic, we want that any student of the country feels the jersey
and has the opportunity to come and try out in our installations,” said
Frangie about his idea to turn Tecos from the local Autonomous
University of Guadalajara (UAG) club to a side that represents students
across the country.
Amongst the new changes set to take place
will be the clubs re-branding from Tecos to Estudiantes including a
change of team colors, from red and white to burgundy and gold, along
with a new crest.
“Let us remember that 35 years ago those were the
original team colors, I still have a uniform from when I used to play
and those were the colors,” added Leano.
Estudiantes' crest, which will
retain the Owl will now feature a shield with the letter E inside
another shield. The teams new uniform will be designed by Nike which
replaces Tecos previous sports brand Prima.
“We want a brand that is
penetrating and makes people feel proud to wear, that you can take to
the movies or night club, and have the jersey on because you are proud
of it,” concluded Frangie.
Joel Aceves covers Mexican Football for Goal.com.
For more coverage of Mexican football, visit Goal.com's Mexican Football section.