American Exports: Tijuana Yanks get new boss in Cesar Farias, "the Venezuelan Jose Mourinho"
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Former Venezuela coach César Farías on Tuesday was named the new coach of Club Tijuana and their American legion, including US internationals Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo.
Farías comes in following his resignation from the Venezuelan national team on Saturday. The 40-year-old took over La Vintotinto in 2008 and led a World Cup qualifying campaign in which they looked for large parts like they would make the tournament for the first time in their history. (They finished sixth in the CONMEBOL table, five points behind Brazil-bound Uruguay.)
He also coached them to a best-ever fourth-place finish at the 2011 Copa América with a squad that included former MLSer Alejandro Moreno.
Labeled the “Venezuelan Mourinho” due to his outspoken demeanor, Farías has already indicated that reaching the Club World Cup – via winning the CONCACAF Champions League – is a top priority for both him and the club.
“The possibility of playing in and qualifying for the Club World Cup is something that powerfully attracts the attention and we don’t doubt that we can do it,” he told the club website. “It is a challenge that the president of the club has laid down and we now take on as our own starting from this moment.”
Club Tijuana reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 Copa Libertadores and won the Liga MX Apertura 2012 almost exactly one year ago, but face a highly anticipated trip across the border for a Champions League quarterfinal date with the LA Galaxy in March.
Farías also emphasized that working with Tijuana’s youth system and integrating homegrown players into the first team is an important part of his role at the club, something of which American youngsters Alejandro Guido, Paul Arriola and Stevie Rodriguez will be hoping to take advantage.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.