Club Tijuana coach Pablo Guede was unable to take his place on the sideline for his team’s 2-1 loss on Sunday to Cruz Azul after testing positive for COVID-19, but he was present in the team talk and at half-time via Zoom.
Guede was one of seven positive cases at Xolos, which were announced only hours before the game, and he immediately went into quarantine, but the Argentine was able to influence the match from his home.
“[Guede] did the team talk, I was just the spokesperson,” said stand-in coach Ignacio Ruvalcaba, who is usually in charge of the club’s youth system. “He connected via Zoom from his house and he gave the instructions analyzing the game.”
Ruvalcaba confirmed that aside from the video calls with the players, Guede was also involved in the substitutions.
“The changes were on coach Pablo’s indications,” said Ruvalcaba. “I was on the field transmitting the coach’s ideas and he made the changes based on the analysis of what he was seeing from his home watching the game … it was logical, I didn’t want that freedom to make them.”
Four Xolos players tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the game, as did two others from Cruz Azul, bringing the number of overall cases in Liga MX men’s first team players to 101, or 22 percent of players registered in the 18 clubs’ squads.
The first cases were confirmed on May 20, with eight positives at Santos Laguna. Since then, every club except Pachuca has registered coronavirus cases, with Santos having the most (19), followed by Cruz Azul (16) and FC Juarez (10).
Liga MX canceled the 2020 Clausura tournament last May, but the 2020 Guard1anes season began behind closed doors on July 23. The Mexican first division has continued amidst the positive results, isolating players and only allowing them to return to training after they had produced a negative result.
Ten rounds of matches have been played so far in the season, with undefeated Pumas UNAM in first place and Cruz Azul level on points with them in second.