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[FM13] Travels & Travails

Big Marv

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Travels & Travails - Aimless meanderings through FM13

Welcome to my first FMCU careers thread. I have been playing CM/FM since the original Championship Manager 1993 (the one with the real names), and have played constantly since then. Since discovering the forums, I have been playing by LLM rules, but guess I wanted to be able to player name and record more of my career online. I've been playing one save per season, journeyman style, no rules, aims, challenges. See my career history below:

FM09 (UK) Manager Info

FM09 (UK) Career History

FM09 (BZ) Manager Info

FM09 (BZ) Career

FM11 Manager Info

FM11 Career

FM11 Manager Stats

FM12 Manager Info

FM12 Career

FM12 Manager Stats

So, I've been lurking on the FMCU forums for the last year, and decided this would be my year to have a thread. I have no doubt my career will continue, I just hope I can keep up to date with the updates... My layout is based upon the layouts I have seen most well received on the forum, you guys know who you are (too many to mention, but I do like BWG's format).


I don't have the best computer! Last year, I ran a Large database with 8 foreground leagues (England, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Mexico, USA, France, Switzerland) to the lowest division, with 4 top divisions (Spain, Brazil, Russia & Turkey) on view-only. It worked well enough, although slowed after 20 or so seasons. This year I have paired back to:

Large Database, no background leagues

England (to BSN/S)

France (to CFA)

Switzerland (to Challenge League)

Portugal (to 2nd Division)


Mexico (Liga Ascenso)

Singapore (S League)

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Career Summary (Warning Spoilers Included)

Season      Club (nation)          League        Pos                              Cups                                            Continental        Notes
2012/13     Altamira FC (MEX)      Liga Ascenso  9th (Apertura)/10th (Clausura)   Quarter Final (Apertura)/Group Stage(Clausura)
2013/14     Altamira FC (MEX)      Liga Ascenso  1st (Apertura)/8th (Clausura)    Group Stage(Apertura)/Final (Clausura)                             Promoted                
2014/15     Altamira FC (MEX)      Liga MX       17th (Apertura)                  Quarter Final(Apertura)                                            Left (18/2/15)
2014/15     Santos Laguna (MEX)    Liga MX       12th (Clausura)                  Winners (Clausura)                                                 Joined (18/2/15)
2015/16     Santos Laguna (MEX)    Liga MX       3rd (Apertura)/7th (Clausura)    Semi Final (Apertura)                           Winners (Copa Lib.)
2016/17     Santos Laguna (MEX)    Liga MX       1st (Apertura)/1st (Clausura)    Semi Final (Apertura)                           QF (Copa Lib.)     Liga MX Champs
2017/18     Santos Laguna (MEX)    Liga MX       1st (Apertura)                   (Recopa Sudamericana Champs)                    QF (CONCACAF)      Liga MX Runners-up
2018        Chicago Fire (USA)     MLS

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Honours (Warning Spoilers Included)

Altamira FC

Liga Ascenso: 2013/14 (Apertura)

Promotion Playoff: 2013/14

Copa MX: 2013/14 (Runners Up, Apertura)

CD Santos Laguna

Copa Libertadores: 2015/16

Liga MX: 2016/17 (Clausura)

Copa MX: 2014/15 (Clausura)

Recopa Sudamericana: 2017

Liga MX: 2017/18 (Runners Up, Apertura)

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On July 12, 2001, the expansion club Estudiantes de Santander announced an open try-out that was attended by hundreds of youth in Tamaulipas, 
wishing to form part of the club that would begin play in the Segunda División de México (Second Division). The club was officially founded on August 11, 2001. 
During the 2004-05 season, the club was promoted to the Primera A (now Liga de Ascenso), where they became a farm team to San Luis and later, Pumas UNAM. 
But their stay in the Primera A was short, and they were eventually relegated back to the Second Division after the Clausura 2005 tournament.

In 2006, the team changed its name to Estudiantes de Altamira.
It would be almost 5 long years before Altamira returned to the Liga de Ascenso in 2010. This, due to the fact that the teams that reached the Second Division 
championship that year (Universidad del Futbol and Chivas Rayadas, respectively) did not have the right to be promoted. So, Estudiantes de Altamira took their place.

The team crest represents the important resources in and around the port city of Altamira (the anchor, the ship, and the factories). In the foreground, there is a ship's steering wheel. The navy blue and white colors symbolize the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Stadium Altamira is an interesting ground. At one end is the 'Foro Modelo' which is shaped like a football. I am yet to figure out whether it is an interesting stand, a stage for concerts, a combination of both, or mystery 'Option D'?

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The Mexican Ascenso, or Promotion League, is the second highest division in Mexico. It is split into an Apertura (Opening) and Closura (Closing Championship), the winners of each Championship play off for the overall championship and promotion to the top flight.

Relegation is worked out on an average points basis over the season just gone, and the two prior seasons. 2012/13 is slightly different in that only 15 teams (there should be 16) will compete, this means no relegation in the first season. 2013/14 onwards the league will revert to 16 teams and will include relegation.

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First thoughts:

I wanted to manage in Mexico to begin with, no reason, other than I haven't managed there since CM3 or CM4, with the now defunct Tabasco team. I always start a career in the lowest playable league. In terms of choosing my team, I didn't want a large side/fallen giant playing in this division, predicted a high finish (Necaxa, Veracruz, Estudiantes Tecos), I also didn't want to manage any other teams feeder team (Cruz Azul Hidalgo, Pumas Morelos, Merida) and after reading the brilliant youth only career of Mikal's as Toros Neza, they were out... Hence, Altamira FC.

A club with little history, a small amount of ambition, but a good place to start my career. We are predicted 11th, I'm safe in the knowledge I can't be relegated first season, which is handy! We are also in the Copa MX, almost certainly a distraction for a team such as Altamira. Our chairman founded the club in 2001, and we have stable, if unspectacular, finances.

I am very short on staff, most immediately I don't have an AssMan, so have advertised for one. I am also without any coaches, only have one scout, but do have a DoF. I'm keen to try and use a DoF, but guess I was hoping to get used to FM13 first, still we'll see if he can be of use.

The most immediate issue with not having an AssMan is that I have no idea on the relative strengths of my players, where I need to strengthen etc. until I find one, will be a bit of guess work. I know I'm short in a few positions, most notably left back.

I have promoted 5 players from my B team into the senior squad, may have some hidden gems there. When I get a true feel for their abilities, we may look at moving them back to Promesas de Altamira. I also have no youth whatsoever, I'm hoping I will have a youth intake at some point?

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Pre-season (2012/13)


Squad Strength - Finally, now I have an AssMan


Signed two, sold none.

Key players:

Randy Scott Santana

One of my two new signings. Will strengthen defence and midfield, despite missing pre-season with an injury.

Erick Palafox

Removed as captain, but the left-winger is expected to be a big part of my first season in charge. Was impressed he didn't complain about losing the armband. There is competition for his position though, so will need to consistently perform.

Juan Pablo Garcia

My other new signing and the one I am most excited about. Has been capped at full international level, and my scout suggested his signing. Should be at the peak of his abilities for a few years. Will likely play on the right wing, but also has the ability to cover a few attacking positions.

Eliazar Vazquez

My captain, and number 9. I am hoping he will spearhead my attack. I don't usually favour a striker as a captain, but he seemed to be a leader on paper. Following my AssMan's appointment, his report on Vazquez is less than favourable though.

Luis David Velazquez

Rated as my best player. Naturally a right back, however likely to cover my shortcomings at left back.

New staff:

Marco Antonio Revuelta - New Assistant Manager

The most important new signing, however his arrival came too late to be able to assist with my pre season. Has aspirations to be a manager, hopefully not too soon.

Pre season friendlies gave me a chance to experiment with formations. I favour a 4-5-1 with wingers and an Anchnorman, however my first attempt was less than successful, only beating my B team 1-0. I reverted to a straight up 4-4-2, however this led to a weakness at the back. Finally I have settled on a 4-5-1, loosely based on my formation from last year.

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Mid-Season Review(2012/13)

Ascenso MX - Apertura


Started with a strong win over UdeG, however our form tailed off and we were unable to get a win from anywhere, and just managed to pick up a couple of points from draws. Back to the tactical drawing board and the 4-5-1, witha defensive midfielder, changed to a 4-5-1 with a support player behind the central striker. Our results improved to the point that we got into the playoff positions, and were still in contention right up until the last day. A 1-0 defeat to a 10-Man Lobos BUAP, meant we failed to qualify and slipped to 9th, which is still better than the 11th we were predicted.

Overall Necaxa romped the League stage of the Apertura and looked set to win the Apertura overall (via a knockout competition). They faced Copa MX semi-finalists Merida, who had finished sixth in the League phase, in the final and were promptly dispatched 8-1 on aggregate.


Copa MX


A difficult group draw put us with two teams from the division above and Estudiantes Tecos, who finished above us in the Apertura. Our home form was strong and going into the last game against Tecos, we knew a win would qualify us for the quarter finals. Two goals from back-up striker Oscar Fernandez (link), who had performed well in the cup matches, gave us the win and a trip to top-flight Morelia. We narrowly lost to the eventual runners up.


On the small side, and overloaded with strikers. We need to strengthen in the transfer window.


Losing money, and overspending on wages - not good.

Key Players:

Erick Palafox: The former captain did not disappoint. I knew he would be key to our performances, and he was. Led the league in assists too.

Juan Pablo Garcia: The new signing started on the right wing, but finished the Apertura as the Support player. His strength is his versatility. Was fined in the final game against Lobos BUAP for putting in an abject performance in a must win game.

Oscar Fernandez: Started as third choice striker behind Ceresetto & captain Vazquez. Strong performnces in the Copa MX gave him his chance and he took it with both hands.

Luis Fernando Sanchez: The rock at the back. Needed to be consistent when injuries hit all other natural/comfortable centre halves, and was.

Felipe Rios: Initially seen as a centreback, but ultimately played most of his games in the centre of midfield. Useful, versatile player who can score goals.

Managers notes:

Happy to have exceeded the predicted 11th place finish in the Apertura, but a little bit disappointed we couldn't show a bit more ruthlessness against Lobos BUAP in the final match. The Copa MX was a distraction, but was pleased to have reached the Quarter Final. The squad was woefully thin at times (particularly with the long-term injury of Cesar Sanchez), which has to be addressed during the winter break, we really need a new leftback, central midfielder & Attacking midfielder, unfortunately we are overspending on wages already, so may struggle getting the quality we need. Also disappointing that our captain Eliazar Vazquez couldn't make more of an impact, finishing the Apertura as third/fourth choice striker.

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Ok, I gave him ONE thing to do, and he managed to lose out to a team in a Lower (unplayable) League. Thus far, not seeing what the DoF is bringing to the party!


Also, would be handy to be able to ask him to find a certain type of player.

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Mid-Season & Transfer Window (2012/13)

Squad Strength

Still weakest at Left Back & Up-front. However I will wait until the end of the season to strengthen these areas as Left Backs are in short supply, so will hopefully scout some players coming to the end of their contracts from my rivals. With regards strikers, I have a squad full of them (5 in the first team squad), fighting for one place. I need to clear the decks before looking to add. Plus Ceresetto & Fernandez are both scoring.


In: Five Players (£0k)

Out: One Player (£200k)

New Signings:

Jose Maria Ramirez

Agreed a deal for the Left Back during the Apertura. While not a world-beater, is naturally left footed and seems a solid player for this level.

Francisco Diaz

Another signing agreed before the transfer window opened, was initially signed as he could play centreback & defensive midfielder. With my tactics changing to incorporate a support striker/attacking midfielder, in place of an anchor man, he may find his opportunities limited.

Bryan Leyva

Of all my signings, perhaps the most exciting talent, but also one of the most required for cover. Leyva was signed as a back up for Juan Pablo Garcia, as the support striker/attacking midfielder, but was chosen ahead of another target as he could also play on the left flank, where I need cover for Palafox. Tricky & stylish (at this level), Leyva should give us an extra dimension, and some quality from the bench.

Jorge Arturo Torres

Signed as a third choice goalkeeper, only 19 years old, so will hopefully develop.

Guillermo Jimenez

Another centre-back, in a team full of centrebacks, but Jimenez was highly rated by my scouts and I decided to step in and sign him when my DoF, Mr. Jurado, signalled his failure to sign him. 19 years old, will be developed alongside my new goalkeeper Torres as the only incumbants in my U20 squad.

My B Team (Promesus de Altamira) has also signed a couple of players, so will keep an eye on their progress...

Players Out:

Jorge Jose Ibarra(Morelia, £200k)

A talented left winger, but was only ever going to be a back-up to Palafox. £200k was too good an offer to turn down.

Manager Notes:

I have managed to sign all of the positional players I wanted. I missed out on a few signings due to a limited budget, and poor DoF...

Friendlies went as planned, lost with a weakened side at home to top-flight Puebla, but beat all the others.

In terms of aims for this half of the season, I want to finish above the 11th place we have been predicted at the beginning of the season, also important to keep my average points up as relegation will be a factor next season. I have also realised that the cup also falls into an Apertura (opening) & Clausura (closing) chapionship too, so will be competing in this again.

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Oh. Hell. Yes.


I have managed to secure the signing of Mexican legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco for next season. Released mid-way through the season by Dorados from our division, I have been trying to get through his agent to agree a deal, but nothing was forthcoming. I guess he liked our persistance, aas he has agreed a one-year deal, with an option for a second season. Yes, I know he's 40! Yes, I realise that he won't be able to play every match! But, I can't ignore the fact that he will be the most technically gifted player in our league.

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End Of Season Review(2012/13)

Ascenso MX - Clausura


Having beaten UdeG on the opening fixture of the Opening Championship, they well & truly got their own back thumping us 4-1. Struggled to put together any sort of consistent run, looked ok at home and would then get destroyed away. Highlights included a strong 3-1 win over Necaxa, who were the strongest team in the division. Lowlights; heavy home defeats to Celaya and Estudiantes Tecos. Changed the formation (again) to a 4-4-1-1 mid-way through the season, but ultimately returned to a 4-2-3-1 by the end of the season. A couple of times we were close to the playoffs, but 4 wins from a possible 14 matches is not playoff form.

In terms of the Clausura, it was a case of all change as teams that struggled to make the playoffs in the Apertura, romped the league - Celaya, UdeG & Veracruz. Ultimately though the final was between Necaxa and La Piedad, with Necaxa again fluffing their lines. 4-2 on aggregate.

This led to the promotion playoff between La Piedad and Apertura champions Merida. Over the two legs Merida won 5-4 to seal promotion.



Copa MX


I wasn't even aware that the Copa MX has an Apertura & Clausura competition. I knew that we would struggle to win the cup, so used it as an opportunity to rest senior players and give games to the fringe players. Accordingly we finished bottom of our group, although we did manage to a win an top-flight Pachuca and a draw at top flight Atlas


Final stats for the season.


Key Players:

Fan's Player Of The Year, Manager's Player of the Year, Leading Assists, Best Signing

Juan Pablo Garcia: He's here, he's there, he's everywhere! 'Jerry' played in a variety of positions throughout the season, but played well wherever he played. He was fourth overall in assist in the Ascenso too. Definitely our MVP and hope to hold onto him for next season.

Top Scorer

Oscar Fernandez: First choice striker, but massively injury prone. He didn't play nearly enough in the Clausura and our performances suffered. Hopefully we can either keep him fit next season, or have adequete back-up.

Emerging Star

Bryan Leyva: Signed as back-up on a free transfer mid-season, but ended up ousting Palafox on the left-wing come the end of the season.

Other noteworthy players

Luis Fernando Sanchez: Continued to be our strongest defender, hoping for more of the same next season.

Pablo Mascarenas: Virtually unused until the final matches of the Apertura where he sprang to life. Finished the Apertura strongly and continued in top form during the Clausura. Interchangeable with Garcia, this enables us to rotate their positions dependng on the opposition. Also the longest serving player on the squad.

Erick Palafox: A quieter second half of the season for Palafox, which ultimately led to him being dropped for the final few matches for Leyva.

Disappointment of the Season

Eliazar Vazquez: The Captain failed to break into the team and ultimately played only twice during the Clausura.

Managers notes:

Finished the season, and achieved what was expected of us. We were by no means the worst team in the league, but have a long way to go to be the best. In both Aperturta & Clausura, we exceeded the 11th place predicted for us. Defensively we need to do a lot of work, but at the other end of the pitch we are in quite good shape, if we can keep Fernandez fit next season, or find a good replacement/back-up, as Ceresetto this season, was far too inconsistent.

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It's a good start,gives you something to build up,with the right signings you should be able to move up the table.

Cheers BWG, second season has started pretty well, would post updates, but Photobucket is playing silly buggers on my PC!

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So, my previous approach of never stripping the captaincy, has for the second time in as many seasons been torpedoed:


In my defence, the incumbant captain managed a grand total of six appearances last season, with nothing making me think he will manage to eclipse that.

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Managers Notes:

While I don't expect to win either Opening, or Closing Championship, my aim for the season has to be a top seven finish in either of the championships, just to show we are making progress. The Copa MX will be used purely as a time to try players out, bring them back to fitness or stop them complaining about first team opportunities.

I will be sticking with a 4-2-3-1 formation, because I like wingers and am not keen on wing-backs, that seem to be 'deriguer' this season. We have an attacking formation, but focus predominately of defensive aspects within training, as that is where we are poorest. The three attacking midfeider positions are our key strength with Garcia, Palafox, Blanco, Mascarenas, Leyva and Morales all competing for three starting and two substiute positions.

Pre season friendlies went pretty much how we would have expected them to go, an impressive 2-0 win over Pachuca was a highlight.


Squad Strength


Key Signings:

Cuauhtemoc Blanco

An absolute superstar in the Mexican game, Blanco has represented his club at the very highest level, played at World Cups, set records and played abroad. Signed at the end of his career, he's 40, I'm hoping his evident technical advantage over the rest of the league will be an important factor. Although a 'AM/S C', he has the ability to be able to cover a number os positions in the front line and his verstility will be crucial. Released in December by Dorados.

Kevin Favela

Kevin has been signed as a back up for Oscar Fernandez. Last year we didn't have adequete cover up front, so when Fernandez was out injured, which he was for about half the season, the replacements we had were not clinical or decisive enough in front of goal. I'm hoping that Favela, who has played at this level, although never really settled at a club, will be the solution. Signed from Veracruz, where he was playing in the reserves.

Carlo Crociani

Youngster who was playing (rather, was employed) in Serie A with Siena. Knowing our weakness in the left-back area, and hoping he would be the solution, not to mention a youngster with a hot futrure, bearing in mind he was playing (employed) in Italy. Unfortunately, the rest of the coaching team don't seem to rate him too highly.

Sergio Rizo

One of the more unheralded signings Sergio Rizo gives us cover in midfield and at centreback and was cheaper than the departing Lillo.

Deadline day signings Enriquez, Jimenez & Rosales are all signed on loan, at 0 cost to add some depth to our squad. Enriquez and Jimenez will provide competition in the middle of the park, whereas YYY offers defensive options, indeed has been performing well enough in pre-season to be considered for a starting berth.

Key Sales:

All of our foreign players left the club of the summer. Lucio Cersetto, our back up striker, went on a free to Mexican Lower League side Tampico Madeiro, whereas Nacho Del Moral and Cristian Lillo, both left on free transfers along with Mexican centre back Francisco Diaz, who himself was only signed over the winter transfer window. Several other players have departed the club on loan.

Key players:

Juan Pablo Garcia

Last year's Star Player will again have a huge amount of responsibility on his shoulders. 'El Loquito' (The Little Crazy One, or something), will continue to be our driving force from either right-wing or behind the striker. Getting on a bit now, he's 31, I'm certain he has a few years left in him at this level.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco

A new signing (it's kinda like Ipswich Town signing Beckham), instilled as the new captain, we will be hoping he rolls back the years and provides Altamira the 'X-Factor' needed to succeed at this level. He hasn't come cheap, and will get both a new contract and a wage hike if he plays over 5 League games this term. Also hoping he may choose to start his coaching career at Altamira, although he's not said anything about moving on just yet! Will take some of the dead ball responsibilities.

Felipe Rios

One of our most consistent performers last season, will need more of the same from the midfielder 'destroyer'. Has a goal in him too, but is always nice to have a player you can rely on. Rated as our top player by the coaching team this season.

Luis Fernando Sanchez

In a season of changing personnel across the back-line, LFS was the one constant. Although we were perhaps weakest at the back, having a player like Sanchez there saved it from being our undoing. We will need him to perform and for Santana to step up to the plate.

Oscar Fernandez

Last seasons top scorer, we will need his goals for success in 2013/14. Hoping for less of an injury hit campaign this time round too, where we didn't have the back-up needed when Fernandez was out.

Key Staffing Changes:

Nothing major, other than our top scout being poached by recently relegated Queretaro.

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I have spent most of this season, re-negotiating contrats to bring my wage budget down to where the board wants it and then...


The worst part of this, is that the two players I want to keep, my goalkeeper Martin Cruz & attacking midfielder Pablo Mascarenas, have yet to sign new deals and my wage budget won't get close to what they want from us to sign new contracts. Both are out of contract at the end of the season, this could be challenging.

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Mid-Season Review(2013/14)

Ascenso MX - Apertura


An immense start to the league campaign with six wins from our opening half-dozen games. The influential figure in this was Kevin Favela, overlooked for the first game, but once he was made first choice striker, there was little challenge from elsewhere. The league form continued, and even the initial defeats we suffered were away from home and by the odd goal in five, or seven. Both the defeats to Lobos BUAP and Irapuato, I felt were avoidable. Overall, the second half of the league campaign was disappointing with a failure to string a decent run together, worst of all we didn't really have an excuse. Into the final game against C.A. Hidalgo, we topped the table by a single point. They took the lead, and in one of the other fixtures, third place Necaxa also took the lead; this left us in second position at half time. Well into the second half I felt we would have to settle for second position, before Felipe Rios, so often the unsung hero, scored an equaliser. The difference between finishing first & second is that the Champions have one less game to play in the final, knock-out, run-in, entering at the semi-final, rather than the final stage.

Overall, very happy with our Opening League stage form, and was much more than I hoped for. Our form in the second half of the league season is irritatingly familiar. Cuauhtemoc Blanco did not make the impact I hoped he would, however he was a solid substitute capable and used in many positions. Up-front Kevin Favela took Oscar Fernandez's starting berth and would have a fine goalscoring Apertura. In defence, the loan signing of Rosales at left-back reassured our weakest element.


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Mid-Season Review(2013/14)

Ascenso MX - Apertura (Knock-out stage)

So, for the first time we entered the knock-out stage for the Ascenso MX Apertura title.

Quarter Finals

We were thankfully spared the Quarter Finals, thanks to our winning the League:


Estudiantes Tecos destroyed La Piedad, while Irapuato and perennially strong Necaxa also qualified for the semi-final draw.

Semi Finals

We were drawn against Necaxa, with Irapuato and Estudiantes facing off in the other semi-final


A first leg draw, courtesy of a late Cuauhtemoc Blanco penalty at home, set us up for an away match that we only had to draw and we would qualify, thanks to finishing higher in the league stage. Two goals from a miss-firing Kevin Favela and a late winner from midfield stalwart Jose Alberto Tovar, put us into the final against a very strong Estudiantes side


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Mid-Season Review(2013/14)

Ascenso MX - Apertura (Final)

So, we faced off against Estudianes, a side we had beaten during the League stage, but while they had gotten stronger, our performances had slowly deteriorated. Kevin Favela's scoring touch had deserted him, and Juan Pablo Garcia had gone all but missing in the semi-final against Necaxa. We were pretty injury free, aside from a minor injury to loan signing Rosales, who was rested with Carlos Cuevas preferred.


A real back & forth match. We took an early lead through a Juan Pablo Garcia penalty, they immediately pegged us back. Into the second-hald and they take the lead, before late goals from Felipe Rios and Erick Palafox seal the victory for us.

Second leg, and we recall Rosales to the starting lineup, and recall Cuauhtemoc Blanco to the bench.


Juan Pablo Garcia gives us another early lead, but the defecit is reduced to one goal in the second half. Bryan Leyva, on the back of a quiet half-a-season, restores the two goal cushion in the dying moments, before Estudiantes get a late, late consolation.

Altamira are Ascenso MX (Apertura) Champions!!!

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Mid-Season Review(2013/14)

Ascenso MX - Apertura


Copa MX


Having learned what was involved in the Copa MX last season, I used the cup as an opportunity to rotate the squad, keep players fit and try players in different positions. It worked well as we won the Apertura! Kevin Favela got his first goals in the Copa MX. Overall, the performances were strong, with 5 draws and a defeat, with a weakened team on each occasion. We failed to qualify, finishing third in the group.


Overall happy with the squad, the size and did seem to have a good control on the wages, until our budget was slashed by 20%.


Not getting any better, aren't we due some prize money??

Key Players:

Kevin Favela: Fantastic return of 16 goals, in 19 Apertura games for the new signing. He dropped off towards the end of the campaign, but ultimately got the goals when we needed them. Displaced Oscar Fernandez after one league game!

Luis Fernando Sanchez: Again, our star centreback performs to a high level, that was needed for us to produce anything this season. Was backed up more consistently by Santana this term.

Erick Palafox: Outplayed by Bryan Leyva in pre-season, meant our talisman started the season on the bench. However, a string of strong performances meant that Palafox was soon back in the starting line-up. Performed to a high quality and didn't go missing when we needed him in the knock-out stages.

Pablo Mascarenas: More appearances for Altamire than any of the other current squad, and closing in on the all-time record, yet Mascarenas is in the team on merit. Interchangeable with Garcia, had another superb season helping Altamira to the Apertura. Is out of contract at the end of the season, and as yet we haven't got close to agreeing a new one.

Juan Pablo Garcia: The most popular player at the club, the fans love him! Although he went missing for much of the championship run-in, he held his nerve to score a penalty in the first-leg and had a classically strong performance against Estudiantes in the second leg, and overall was one of the key players behind our success.

Managers notes:

Didn't think we had the strength to achieve what we did, but ultimately very pleased. The financial situation is a bit of an issue, as if we can't re-sign Martin Cruz, Pablo Mascarenas and sign Rosales to a full time deal, then sourcing adequete replacements could be very difficult.

We now go into the closing championshps, knowing that we are already two play-off games (against the winner of the closing championship) away from the Liga MX, Mexico's top flight.

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