It’s nearly been a year since Rodrigo Ares was elected as the new Club President for Pumas. On Friday, he presented his first economic and sporting report in front of the General Assembly partners that elected him to replace Jorge Borja in May of last year.
Despite recent results, Ares places Pumas in a positive space, building on the project he began when he took over leadership of the organization. While his entire address contained good information regarding the club, a few things stood out.
Dario Veron’s future in question
“It will be analyzed along with the other players,” Ares said of Veron’s contract which expires at the end of the tournament. Many questions have been raised of whether or not Veron has played his final game with Pumas after receiving a red card in Week 15’s match against Veracruz. Liga MX added a second game in his suspension due to the severity of the foul, which means unless Pumas make the liguilla, Veron’s Clausura is over.
Nicolas Castillo staying put
Veron’s future isn’t the only one that is getting a lot of attention lately. Striker Nicolas Castillo is no longer a secret weapon as the Chilean has gathered attention with his goal scoring ability and has been linked to clubs inside and outside Mexico.
Ares said in the short or mid-term, Castillo’s future isn’t at any other club in Mexico and added that the intention is he stays put at Pumas. “Neither we or he wants to see him depart the team.”
Juan Francisco Palencia continues to be backed
Ares touched on another hot topic, that of the future of Paco Palencia who is also about to hit the year mark with Pumas. Although the club is struggling of late, and many fans are beginning to turn on the first time manager, Ares once again backed his man, more or less saying Pumas are improving in the big picture and citing injuries as an uncontrollable setback for the club.
Ares confirmed Palencia has one additional year on his contract, and it appears the club will give Palencia more time to balance out the results.
Pablo Barrera injury forces club to look for outside options
Perhaps one of the most concerning comments is around how the organization will address the gap on the right side of the midfield now that Pablo Barrera is out for at least six months after having knee surgery.
“The only thing that’s clear is there’s a player we will not have for six months and that’s very important. We need to bring someone [from outside the club] to help us there because we don’t have someone ready to substitute him,” Ares stated.
Pumas have 21-year old Omar Islas, who many consider one of the better prospects in the organization, but the comments seem to imply the coaching staff is not confident in him.
Pumas close out Clausura hoping to sneak into liguilla
Pumas have two games left in the tournament, against Morelia and Puebla. Chances of making the liguilla took a big hit after last week’s loss to Veracruz, and even with two wins, they would need other results to fall their way to sneak in.