Third time a charm? Ruben Omar Romano again announced as Atlas manager

Rubén Omar RomanoGetty

Is the third time a charm for Ruben Omar Romano? Atlas certainly hopes so.

The Guadalajara club announced Thursday that Romano is taking over as manager for the rest of the Clausura. The club fired Jose "Profe" Cruz after it started off the tournament with a pair of defeats and interim manager Gerardo Espinoza was unable to do anything to change that as Atlas fell 3-1 to Toluca in his only match in charge.

Now the 59-year-old Romano will embark on his third stint with the team after guiding Atlas to the Liguilla in both the 2007 Clausura and Apertura and also managing the team for the 2011 Apertura.

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The Argentine's links to Atlas actually go back a decade further. Romano was an assistant to Ricardo La Volpe during the 1997 Invierno tournament after wrapping up a playing career that saw him represent nine different Mexican clubs.

Romano enters a situation where not only will he look to get Atlas back into the Liguilla, which the Zorros made as the eighth and final team in the Apertura, but he'll also look to help the club avoid relegation

Atlas sits second-from-last in the relegation table. The club is 12 points clear of last-place Veracruz, but that cushion could vanish if they're not able to accumulate points this season.

"The message to the fans is we're going to turn this situation around," Romano said Thursday at his introductory news conference.

Atlas travels to face Club America this weekend but then has a less daunting calendar, hosting Cruz Azul, visiting Lobos BUAP and returning to the Estadio Jalisco for a match with Necaxa. The team has lost its last five matches, dating back to Monterrey bouncing them from the Liguilla in November 2017.

Romano last managed in the 2015 Apertura when he took over at Club Tijuana prior to the tournament but parted ways with the team in October after a five-match winless streak.