Clausura 2025/2026 – what doesn’t kill you…
…makes you stronger. As I already mentioned in the post about the far post free kick routines, we had a great start to the Clausura 2025/2026. A lot of wins, a lot of set-piece goals and a lot of clean sheets. But it didn’t last for the whole Clausura…
If nothing more, the song above is played quite often during my save in Mexico with Celaya from central Mexico.
Open THIS LINK if you would like to read about the opening stage of the 2025/2026 season including all transfers.
The Clausura 2026 should be divided in three parts. The first months with great results, the middle part with some individual instructions experiments and 7 matches without a win, and the last part when we won the title.
January, February and March can be added to the first part. We were dominant, consistent and even if we didn’t score more than one goal, we played well and we were able to win. It was tight wins but wins.
New striker Víctor Ríos scored several goals after his arrival. Josué Infante was scoring for fun after free kicks and corners. Gilberto Erick Serrano was adding assists as easily as I am able to drink beers.
These perfect performances and results peaked in the middle March when we beat New York Red Bulls 5-0 away from home in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter final. Serrano made 4 assists in this match but more about it below.
We won four from the next six matches but it was not so easy as before because some key players were fatigued. And mainly, I started to experiment with the individual instructions.
Back to basics
My main formation was the 4-1-4-1 Wide DM (as it’s called in the game). I’m still using Half Back but from some weird reason I wanted to change something.
It means I changed RPM to Box To Box midfielder with Get Further Forward, Shoot More Often and Take More Risks instructions and I was amazed why there are too many players in the penalty area and and we have too many long shots.
I gave to CM(A) player – Serrano most of the time – Dribble More and Take More Risks instructions to just try it what will happen.
It resulted in the fact that Serrano made one assist in six matches and didn’t score.
Three assists and two goals during the last 6 matches of the season (play-off) since I stopped the experiment and went back to the basics are good evidence the experimenting was not good.
Four wins and two draws against strong sides like Cruz Azul, Monterrey and Club América in the play-off final means the Clausura 2025/2026 title.
I made nothing revolutionary within tactics. I just used the roles I like to use even with the 4-3-3 and the flat midfield – CM(A) in combination with CM(S) or also FB(A).
Only two players has individual instructions. The FB(S) on the left side of the pitch has Cross From Deep. And IF(S) on the right side has Roam From Position and Sit Narrower.
When key players are key
I have 32 players at the end of this season in the first team squad. One of them, Emiliano Ozuna, has Star Player as the agreed playing time (formerly key player in the previous editions).
Four other players are labeled as Important Players.
Erick Vargas, our 22 years old goalkeeper number 1, played 60 competitive matches this season. He kept 34 clean sheets – 26 of them in the domestic league. It’s only two clean sheets less than last season.
Josué Infante, our 21 years old central defender, made 51 appearances, scored 16 goals and made 3 assists.
Gilberto Erick Serrano played as CM(A) most of the season and his 8 goals and 26 assists are a great outcome in my eyes. He, for example, made 4 assists in the Champions League quarter final against New York Red Bulls.
The last two are Ozuna and Sebastián Osorio. They both are one of the last real-life players in our squad. Ozuna’s stats – 52(2), 20 goals, 15 assists as W(S). Osorio – 39(8), 15 goals, 3 assists. Shame about the injuries, he would have more.
- Josué Infante – the 11 Player of the Match awards – a new league record
- Erick Vargas – the 26 clean sheets is a new league record
- Gilberto Erick Serrano – the 18 assists is a new league record
- Gilberto Erick Serrano – the 26 assists is a new team record (previously 17 by Ozuna in 2023)
The (nicknamed) squad 2025/2026
Our average age of the first team dropped slightly in comparison with the end of the previous year. It went from 21,1 to 20,9 but that’s not too big difference.
All these mentioned players are 30, 29 and 30 years old. It’s certain they will remain in the squad. Ozuna is a key player and the best winger. Osorio will have some part for sure and Gutiérrez activated the contract extension clause when he played a required number of matches.
But it would be great to find and sign some quality wide defender to have him mainly as a backup. The RB position is the weakest area right now. But he was added to the overall best XI of the club history after three seasons.
If you will open the image below with the squad, you will maybe notice one thing.
Several players were nicknamed during this season as I decided they don’t have future in our club.
Diego Montano will leave after two years of his loan spell as I think I have enough my own players for the DM position – (End loan).
Midfielders Jesús Pérez, Edgar Reyes or Kefren Castillo would be good enough to play here but they all are too inconsistent. I can’t trust them. They are considered as good players, Castillo is in most of the ideals starting XI of our coaches, but I want to give a chance to other players.
I am not making this because I would not know which players I want to keep or not. But it helps me a little bit mainly on the tactics screen before the match when I can see very quickly that I want to get rid of this player and I need to select some younger player for the bench, for example.
I know many people do this as well. I also like to put simple (NO) as a nickname to my staff a half year before the end of their contracts when I know I will not renew it.
For example, FMSamo nicknames his scouts in terms of the nation or location when the specific scout is.
Infante is God for all
Josué Infante was voted “Fan’s player of the season” with 64%. Serrano who ended second had only 15% and third Salvador Garcia 12%.
Infante was also the Youth player of the season. He was voted 11 times Player of the match during the season (most of all players) and he had the highest average rating – 7.42.
And his shirts were the best sellers. He still is only 21 years old. He has 10 international appearances and 1 goal for the Mexican national team.
The great season earned him a place in the World Cup 2026 squad. (goalkeeper Erick Vargas is here too). He will meet with Juan Manuel Dojaquez here.
Or with Idekel Domínguez, the left wing back we had on loan from Pumas in the first two seasons. He developed in a very good player.
Thanks for reading.
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