Struggling clubs must focus on youth 

April, 19, 2012

With plenty of pena and not much glory at all, long-standing Mexican Premier Division club Estudiantes was relegated over the weekend. It was one of those somewhat rare occasions when a historic top division club (UAG has been in the top flight for 37 years) was outpaced at the bottom of the table by all the other, less storied teams.

Relegation in Mexico tends to be the domain of the newly established and recently promoted, but as new owners bring heaping infusions of cash to the league, that may be changing. This time around, the relegation specter claimed UAG, a team that flirted with losing the category frequently during years of mediocrity. Now, a quick look at the percentage table -- the LMF's unorthodox means of deciding which team gets relegated, which carries over from year to year -- shows another pair of historic clubs, Atlas and Atlante, in line to be next.

There are some common strings in connecting now-descended UAG and fellow storied franchises like Atlas and Atlante. All have failed to keep up with the times as they continue to bring in foreigners and cast-offs from richer clubs, but field limited amounts of young Mexican players produced in their own systems.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.