Mexican David Patiño, manager of the Pumas UNAM soccer club, said his goal was to beat defending Liga MX champion America in the 2019 Clausura tournament, which starts on Jan. 4.
“We had a good year in 2018. We qualified for both tournaments. We were faithful to the project and had results. We still have to win the title and beat America, who we have unfinished business with,” Patiño said.
In the Apertura tournament semifinals, America defeated the Pumas 7-2.
America also eliminated the Pumas 18 months earlier in the Clausura tournament, hurting the club’s pride and leaving the squad hungry for revenge.
Patiño confirmed the addition of Chileans Felipe Mora and Martin Rodriguez to the roster, but he said he does not need more foreigners unless they are outstanding players.
“We are constantly talking with management. We’ve considered names, but nothing has been decided. I still think we should give our young players an opportunity. If someone comes from abroad, they’ll have to be much better than what we have, and that hasn’t been the case,” the 51-year-old Patiño said.
Patiño, who played for the Pumas from 1986 to 1993, has completed 105 matches as a coach.
Club management is happy with Patiño, who is expected to stay at the helm until the Pumas win a title.
“I am committed to the club and grateful for the opportunity to coach the team I love. Pumas has thrived in Mexican soccer, and we will get back on track,” Patiño said.
The Pumas will kick off Clausura tournament play on Sunday with a match against Veracruz.