Fourth time's a charm? Puebla brings back El Chelis
The manager is once again taking the reins of La Franja as he looks to get his hometown club back in the postseason
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
Puebla announced Wednesday it is once again turning to Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, better known as “El Chelis”, as it looks to get back to respectability in Liga MX. It will be the fourth stint in charge of La Franja for El Chelis, after the manager coached the club between 2006-2008, 2009-10 and in 2014.
The manager most recently was working as a pundit but previously had a spell with the USL Championship’s Las Vegas Lights in 2018.
His links with Puebla extend back to the second division, with Chelis helping the club earn promotion from the Ascenso in 2006 (though even during his time with the club in the second division, he was let go and rehired). From there, he achieved mixed results. Twice he has taken the team to the semifinals of the Liguilla but he also has led several campaigns in which the club failed to make the postseason.
Puebla was the third club to part ways with its manager this season, letting Enrique Meza go after an uninspiring start of one win from its first five contests. However, the club sits only two points outside of the eighth and final playoff place with plenty of time to go.
El Chelis, a colorful character known around North American soccer not only for his television appearances and time with Puebla but also for his colorful time leading Chivas USA in 2013, has some pieces to work with. Canadian international Lucas Cavallini already has a pair of goals on the season, while wingers Alejandro Chumacero and Christian Tabo help provide depth in the attack. However, the team already has conceded eight goals this tournament without an obvious answer to its defensive deficiencies.
The 60-year-old will need to figure it out quickly, with a visit to Atlas coming Friday. Cavallini is suspended for that match after seeing a red card in the club’s 4-1 loss to Necaxa last week. He’ll have a bit more time to put his imprint on the team after that, though, with the club not in action again until hosting Pachuca next Friday.
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