Lobos BUAP are on the verge of relocating to Ciudad Juarez

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Bravos de Juárez have sights set on Liga MX; “Ojitos” Meza tapped to fix Veracruz mess.

Summer is not yet upon us and already the offseason is heating up … but transfer talks are not the only subject of contention. Ascenso MX club FC Juárez is close to sealing a deal to acquire the Lobos BUAP franchise and transform itself into a first division team. And other Ascenso MX teams are not happy.

Elsewhere, Enrique “Ojitos” Meza found a new job – not a desirable one, perhaps, but a new job nonetheless and contract talks between transfer target Antonio Briseño and the Chivas have hit a wall.

Bravos on verge of ‘promotion’

Puebla-based Liga MX franchise Lobos BUAP is looking to cash in and walk away from first division soccer and 4-year-old FC Juárez appears to be the beneficiary.

Multiple sources say the purchase will be completed today (June 10) with one report indicating the price tag is 90 million pesos. Lobos BUAP has already sold off its two best players – striker Leo Ramos (to León) and goalie José Antonio Rodríguez (to Chivas), while other players on their roster are scrambling to find out their status. On June 6, coach Francisco Palencia announced his resignation, while general manager Manuel Lapuente is also expected to depart soon.

Juarez to purchase Lobos

The Bravos of Juárez are on the verge of joining Liga MX. (Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Lobos BUAP won promotion to Liga MX two years ago. Ironically, they defeated FC Juárez to move up. Last summer, Lobos ownership paid 120 million pesos to remain in first division after suffering relegation. This season, the Lobos played well enough to climb into the middle of the pack of the relegation standings heading into next season.

In Ciudad Juárez, the Bravos organization is moving quickly to address Liga MX requirements – a youth academy, a women’s team, stadium upgrades and a stronger roster to compete at the top level.

Meanwhile, other Ascenso MX clubs are upset that they weren’t offered a chance to be involved in the process. Sinaloa Dorados president José Antonio Núñez thinks his club should have been given consideration after reaching the Asceso MX finals in each of the past two seasons (losing both times to Atlético San Luis, the club that won promotion on the field).

“I think there should have been a hierarchical order to the process,” Núñez told “mediotiempo.” “We were much closer to promotion than Juárez was, and there are other teams that are more deserving of consideration.”

FC Juárez did not even make the playoffs last season, Núñez pointed out, although they did reach the final of the Copa MX.

Can Meza ride a Shark?

Lobos sale to Juarez? - Meza to Veracruz

Enrique Meza has agreed to coach the lowly Tiburones of Veracruz. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images)

Last week, Enrique “Ojitos” Meza accepted the vacant coaching job at the train wreck that is the Tiburones of Veracruz. Last season was a disaster for Veracruz and the Sharks finished the Clausura 2019 with 0 points, then shelled out 120 million pesos to remain in first division.

Meza is a four-time league champion, but his last Liga MX title came 12 years ago. His most recent job was with Puebla where he led the Camoteros for two years. Last season, Meza was fired by Puebla after the Camoteros suffered a 4-1 home loss to Necaxa in Matchday 5.

Meza started his coaching career in 1983 season, stepping in on an interim basis after Cruz Azul manager Miguel Marín was suspended for a year after assaulting a referee. “Ojitos” finished out the season with modest results, then returned to coaching at the Cementeros youth academy.

He didn’t return to a First Division sideline until 1992 – again with Cruz Azul – and has basically been managing ever since. Counting his new gig with Veracruz, Meza has had 15 different coaching jobs in Liga MX, including 4 stints with Cruz Azul, three with Toluca and two terms with both Pachuca and Morelia.

He led Toluca to three league championships (Summer 1998, Summer 1999, Summer 2000) and Pachuca to one title (Clausura 2007). Meza also led Pachuca to four international titles – the 2006 South American Cup, the 2007 and 2008 Concacaf Champions League and the 2008 North American Super League.

“Ojitos” even managed El Tri in 2000-2001 but was fired after a poor start to World Cup qualifying, a stretch that included Mexico’s first-ever loss at Estadio Azteca in an official game (Costa Rica defeated Mexico 2-1 on June 16, 2001).

Briseño talks hit snag

The Guadalajara Chivas completed a deal to acquire defender Antonio Briseño from modest Portuguese club Feirense and fans were already celebrating the reconstruction of the club’s defense. Three words of advice … not so fast.

Feirense agreed to the transfer but Briseño is demanding a wage increase. Although his “former” team was just demoted from Portugal’s Primeira Liga, Briseño believes he should be paid for having played in Europe. The Chivas are trying not to explode their salary scale (they overpaid striker Alan Pulido three seasons ago and his hefty contract has become an albatross), but can they afford to pass on Briseño? We will follow developments.



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