FC Juarez Once Again Finishes Runner-Up in Ascenso MX
Bravos de FC Juarez finished the 2017 Apertura Season of the Ascenso MX League with a runner-up finish in the playoffs on Saturday night at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium. The disappointing end to the season is nothing new. Back in May, the Bravos also finished in second place of the 2017 Clausura season, losing in the final to Lobos BUAP.
Despite their most recent finals defeat on Saturday night to Alebrijes de Oaxaca in penalty kicks, FC Juarez season gave their fans plenty to cheer about and be proud of this season. The Bravos won 7 matches, tied 5, and lost 3 over the course of the regular season, losing only one match in front of their home crowd.
In the early part of the season, the front office announced that the team from the Borderland had signed a 3-year contract with ESPN for all of their home matches to be broadcast throughout Latin-America. Two matches were televised nationally here in the United States, one was an exhibition match versus Necaxa that took place at Southwest University Park a few weeks ago, along with Saturday’s final.
In their short 3 years of existence, the Bravos have won a championship (in their inaugural season) and played in two other finals and in a promotion final.
While the critics voices may be getting louder as the Bravos are 0 for 3 in the aforementioned championship series, FC Juarez has given soccer fans across the region more joy and victories than disappointments and defeats.
One doesn’t have to look too far back when soccer fans in the Borderplex were hungry for professional soccer to return to their city. At bare minimum, they would have loved to root for a second division soccer team that was in the middle of the pack in the general standings table, with aspirations to be contenders every few seasons.
In FC Juarez, soccer fans got a team that has serious owners, with deep pockets along with a commitment to winning. This foundation has given Ciudad Juarez, El Paso and Las Cruces instant credibility and a team to root for generations to come.
As for what’s next for FC Juarez, they will get 2 weeks of vacation before reporting back to team headquarters on December 15th. Head coach Miguel Fuentes and his staff’s contracts expired at the end of Saturday night’s final. It is a formality that the front office will renew their contracts in the next coming days.
Fuentes himself hinted at a few changes for next season, intending to keep most of his current players with the exception of "3 or 4 dismissals and acquisitions".
If this is the case, expect an FC Juarez team that will once again contend for the title and be in the conversation to be one of the teams to get their long awaited promotion to Liga MX, Mexico’s premiere soccer division.