History of C.D. Guadalajara

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The history of C.D. Guadalajara spans the time between the club's foundation in May 21st 1906, to the modern day era in the 21st century. Club Deportivo Guadalajara is a Mexican football club based in Guadalajara, Mexico. For a general overview of the club, see C.D. Guadalajara.

Foundation and the Amateur Era (1906-1943)[edit]

Edgar Everaert, Founder of C.D. Guadalajara.

The club's origins can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. Edgar Everaert, a Belgian who arrived in Mexico in 1904, founded the club in 1906 and named it Unión Football Club. The team's kit was modeled after that of the founder's favorite team, the Belgian Club Brugge K.V., borrowing the vertical stripes and color scheme of the Brugge strip in that era (Brugge has since changed their team colors). Some historians assert that the colors came from the French Tricolor because some of the club's first players were French. The first team comprised Mexican, Belgian and French players, named "Union" because of the camaraderie between the players of different nationalities, most of whom were employees of the Fábricas de Francia store, with founder Everaert as coach. A few Spanish and English also became members of the club.

On a tour of Europe, Everaert noticed that European teams named after their respective town or city seemed to generate more support from fans in their communities. So, in 1908, with the approval of Everaert and the players, Club de Futbol Union was renamed to Club Deportivo Guadalajara to generate a sense of loyalty within the city's population. In 1908, it was also decided that the team would only field Mexican-born players because of the growing sense of oppression Mexican nationals felt towards non-Mexican nationals. Following the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, amateur football tournaments throughout the country flourished and Guadalajara was always involved. Between 1906 and 1943 (the amateur era of Mexican football), Guadalajara won 13 amateur titles, the first of which came in 1908. Also during this period, the oldest derby in Mexican football began to form, between Guadalajara and crosstown rivals F.C. Atlas.

Professional Era, El Ya Merito (1943-1953)[edit]

In 1943 the Liga Mayor was founded after the merging of several regional leagues and the era of professional football came to Mexico. Guadalajara struggled during the early years, with the exception of the 1948-49 season when they finished third. This same year Guadalajara was given the name "chivas brinconas" (jumping goats) during a game against Tampico-Madero. The name was initially considered an insult, but later adopted as the team's nickname. During the 1951-52 and 1954-55 seasons, the team finished as runner-up in the league, leading to the nickname "los ya merito.[clarification needed] "The Almost There!"

El Campeonísimo (1955-1970)[edit]

During the 1956 season, players such as Salvador "Chava" Reyes, Jaime "El Tubo" Gomez, Isidoro Lopez, and Jose Villegas were part of what is considered one of the finest teams in Mexican football history, nicknamed, El Campeonísimo. Guadalajara won its first championship during this season thanks to a last minute goal scored by Salvador Reyes. Led by coaches such as Donald Russ and Javier de la Torre in subsequent years, the team won seven league championships, two national cups, three CONCACAF titles and seven Champion of Champions titles. It was the only team in Mexico's football history to win four league championships in a row, during the 1958-59, 1959–60, 1960–61, and 1961-62 seasons. El Campeonísimo became internationally recognized and, in 1964, played several matches in Europe against such teams as FC Barcelona, Werder Bremen, and Lille Olympique, resulting in two victories, four draws and four losses for the team.

The "Las Chivas Flacas" Era (1971-1983)[edit]

The glory days were in the past. The last trace of greatness disappeared when those players identified with “El Campionisimo” started to retire at the end of the 1960s. During the 1970-71 season, the team finished very close to the relegation zone. In 1973, legendary coach Javier De la Torre retired, giving way for Peruvian Walter Ormeño and other coaches who were unable to turn things around. Soon, the nickname “Chivas” (goats) became widely used. The slump continued well into the late 70’s. In the 1978-79 season, they finished 14th place overall, and in 1979-80 they won just 10 games all season. In the 1980-81 season, the team had a serious accident on the road to Puebla. On February 14, 1981, the bus transporting the team was hit by a trailer costing the life of Jose "Pepe" Martínez,[1] a promising young player whose number 22 was retired from then on. After the failure of the 1981-82 campaign, when they fell to 17th place, the coach Diego Mercado is dismissed and Alberto Guerra takes his place, marking the start of a new era for the club.

The Resurrection 1983-1991[edit]

Success came soon after the hiring of coach Guerra, thanks in part to good scouting, the team managed good results in the following seasons. During the 1982-83 season, Guadalajara finished seventh in the league and qualified for the playoffs, going on to eliminate Atlante FC in quarter-finals and Club América in Semifinals. The team reached the Finals for the first time since the playoff format was introduced in the 70's, where it would go on to lose to Puebla F.C. in a penalty shootout.[2] Guadalajara would once again reach the Finals in 1983-84, only to lose to America by an aggregate score of 5-4. However they would continue being very competitive the rest of the 80's and early 90's, with their very best performance on the 1986-87 season, where they would finish 1st in the regular season and eventually become champcion after defeating Cruz Azul in the final. Their best players during this time were Benjamin Galindo, Eduardo "Yayo" De La Torre, "Chepo" De La Torre, Fernando Quirarte, and Zully Ledezma among others.

The new directors decided to bring back Guadalajara's champion coach in 1986-87 Alberto Guerra and bring in many other players that would become icons for Guadalajara in the early '90s: Missael Espinoza, Alberto "Guameru" Garcia, and Alberto Coyote. The team also decided that it would rely on young talent from its basic training schools. Such talent included Paulo Cesar "Tilon" Chavez and Joel "Tiburon" Sanchez. At the beginning of the 93-94 season, the press and fans dubbed the new and improved team Las Superchivas.[3] However, despite expectations, the team was eliminated early on in the playoffs. The 94-95 season would bring about more change for the team, hing Ramon Ramirez among others. Also at the start of the season, directors sold all television rights of the team to Mexican giant Televisa, a move that was heavily criticized by fans because of Televisa's ownership of Club América.[3] Guadalajara would end the 1993-1994 regular season at the top, but was narrowly defeated by Necaxa in the semi-finals. The 96-97 season saw the exit of coach Alberto Guerra, being replaced by the Dutchman Leo Beenhakker; the team failed to make the playoffs that season.

By 1996, the Primera División de México season format would be changed to two short seasons per year. The first of the seasons, Invierno 1996, saw Guadalajara bring in another coach, Brazilian Ricardo Ferretti. During Ferretti's first season, the team managed to reach third place in the league table, but would be eliminated by Necaxa in the quarterfinals. Guadalajara won its 10th championship under Ferretti in the Verano 1997 season against Toros Neza with the aggregate score of 7-2. Guadalajara would once again reach the Finals in the Invierno 1998 season, only to once again lose to Necaxa. Fans criticized the transfer of player Ramon Ramirez to Club America.[3]

Jorge Vergara Era (2002-Present)[edit]

After its tenth year in charge of Guadalajara, La Promotora was still in debt and finally put the club up for sale. On October 31, 2002, the team was acquired by a Guadalajara native and self-made entrepreneur, Jorge Vergara.[4] Vergara was the owner of a dietary supplement company named Omnilife. He hired managers that would be put in charge of handling business affairs. In a bold move, he removed all sponsorship from Guadalajara's jersey. He later allowed limited sponsorship on the jersey.

In order to establish funding for the team, Vergara sought to market the Chivas name and capitalize on it, placing the name on anything from its own magazine to toothbrushes and its own brand of cola.[5]

For the Clausura 2003 season, Guadalajara signed on Eduardo "Yayo" de la Torreas coach, who had played for the team in the 1980s. The Apertura 2003 season would see poor results in the first half of the tournament, putting an end to "Yayo" de la Torre's tenure. Coaching responsibilities would be temporarily assumed by Dutchman Hans Westerhof (who was in charge of the team's basic training school) and the team would barely qualify for a wild card showdown against Toluca, but was subsequently eliminated. For the Apertura 2004 tournament, Guadalajara would display an offensive style of football and managed to place third in league standings, qualifying for the playoffs. Players such as goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez, Ramon Morales, Omar Bravo, and newly acquired Adolfo Bautista, became instant fan favorites. They defeated Atlante FC in the quarterfinals and Toluca in the semifinal, but would lose the final to Pumas UNAM in a penalty shootout. Nevertheless, the team had shown, since Vergara's arrival, that it was highly competitive, including in the Copa Libertadores 2005, where it defeated favorites Boca Juniors4-0 agg. to reach the semi-final. Under coach José Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre, who was also a player for Guadalajara in the 1980s, the team won its 11th championship. For the Apertura 2006 season, Chivas placed eighth in the league table and qualified for the knock-out stage (the "Liguilla") by defeating Veracruz 2-1 in Veracruz and 4-0 in the Estadio Jalisco in a wild card series. Guadalajara advanced to the quarterfinal where it defeated first place Cruz Azul 2-0 in the first leg and tied 2-2 in the second leg (4-2 aggregate), moving on to the semi-final against rivals Club América.

These wins allowed Chivas to advance to the final of the Primera Division against Toluca. The first match was played at Estadio Jalisco, in which Toluca and Chivas tied 1-1 with goals from Omar Bravo for Chivas and Bruno Marioni for Toluca. On December 10, 2006, Chivas played at Toluca's home stadium Estadio Nemesio Diez and won 2-1 (3-2 aggregate), thus becoming the Mexican League champions, holding 11 titles, the most titles of any team in the league. The first goal was scored by Francisco Javier Rodriguez, and the second was by Adolfo Bautista. Bautista dedicated his goal and his team's victory to his mother, who had died shortly before. This championship was goalkeeper Oswaldo Sánchez's first in his career. Photo Gallery After the Apertura 2006 championship the rteam has gone through a series of changes beginning with the departure of players like Oswaldo Sanchez, Adolfo Bautista, and Omar Bravo who went to play to Spain but returned later, however new faces like Jared Borgetti, Carlos Ochoa who these two left the team later and Sergio Amaury Ponce came to the team. Jose Manuel de la Torre was fired in the Apertura 2007 tournament and replaced by Efrain Flores who coached until being replaced first by Omar Arellano Nuño who only coached one league game and two Copa Libertadores games, and then being replaced by Francisco Ramirez who had an unsuccessful period as a team coach having the lowest percentage of effectiveness of all the coaches hired in the last seven years. After Ramirez poor results he was fired and replaced by Raul Arias, a former coach of Necaxa and San Luis. Then on November 4, 2009, Raul Arias was fired and replaced by Jose Luis Real.