Can Fernando Ortiz Conquer Rayados' Fierce Foes?

Fernando Ortiz takes charge as Rayados' new coach, aiming to lead the team to glory. Discover the Argentinean's journey from player to coach, his success at Tigres, and his latest challenge with their bitter rivals. Will he reignite Rayados' championship aspirations?

Can Fernando Ortiz Conquer Rayados' Fierce Foes?
Fernando Ortiz, former player and now Rayados' new coach, ready to lead the team to success. Credit: Rayados

In a surprising turn of events, Fernando Ortiz has been appointed as the new technical director of Rayados, replacing the seasoned Víctor Manuel Vucetich. As we delve into the career of this Argentinean-born coach, we uncover a journey that takes us from his playing days, including a brief stint at Tigres, to his foray into coaching, which began in Paraguay.

Born on December 25, 1977, in Corral de Bustos, Argentina, the 45-year-old "Tano" had a fruitful career as a player, boasting an impressive tally of four league titles. Ortiz kick-started his professional journey in 1998 with Boca Juniors, a year that saw him secure his first championship.

His soccer adventures took him beyond his home country, with stints at Mallorca in Spain, San Lorenzo, Union de Santa Fe, and Banfield. It was during his time with Estudiantes de La Plata (Apertura 2006) and Vélez Sarsfield (Clausura 2011) that he tasted victory as a player, clinching titles with both clubs.

Ortiz's Mexican odyssey saw him triumph in the 2008 Clausura Tournament as part of the Santos Laguna team. He later spent six months with América during the 2009 Clausura Tournament before donning the Tigres jersey for the 2009 Apertura. Notably, it was with Tigres that he captained the team to the Superliga championship in the summer of 2009, a prestigious title contested by teams from Liga MX and MLS.

After a successful run with Tigres, Ortiz returned to Argentina, playing for two years with Velez before concluding his career with Racing in 2014.

Transitioning from player to coach, Ortiz initially joined the reserves of Estudiantes de La Plata. In 2017, he was appointed as the head coach of Sol de América, marking his debut in Paraguay. Throughout 26 matches, he secured 8 wins, 12 draws, and 6 defeats in his first stint at the club.

A brief interlude at Sportivo Luqueño in 2018 proved less fruitful, lasting only a few weeks with Ortiz managing nine games and rescuing 7 out of 27 possible points. He then returned to Sol de América for the second half of 2018, but his second era at the club yielded less success, with just two victories in ten matches.

In a turn of events, Ortiz found his way back to Mexico, this time joining América as the coach of the U-20 team in the Torneo Clausura 2022. Over eight matches, he led the team to four wins, three losses, and one draw. However, following the dismissal of Santiago Solari in March 2022, Ortiz was appointed as the interim head coach of the Águilas. Despite inheriting a team at the bottom of the standings, he managed to guide them to the semifinals of the Clausura 2022, earning him a contract extension for one more year.

During his tenure at América, Ortiz coached a total of 55 games, securing an impressive record of 32 wins, 14 draws, and 9 defeats. In both the Apertura 2002 and Clausura 2023, he reached the semifinals but fell short of making it to the finals.

Now, as fate would have it, Ortiz finds himself transitioning from his former playing ground at Tigres to the coaching realm of Rayados. This move marks a notable trend, as he becomes the fourth former Tigres player to coach Rayados, following in the footsteps of Héctor Hugo Eugui, Tomás Boy, and Sergio Orduña. It seems there's a special connection between the two fierce rivals.

Ortiz's arrival at Rayados comes on the heels of Víctor Manuel Vucetich's departure. Following Rayados' elimination in the Clausura 2023 semifinals against none other than Tigres, the club decided to part ways with Vucetich and place their faith in the hands of Fernando Ortiz. The "Tano" joins Rayados with a one-year contract, with an option for a second year.

As Rayados' new technical director, Ortiz brings with him a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach. His successful playing career, including winning titles in Argentina and Mexico, undoubtedly provides him with valuable insights into the game. Moreover, his time spent coaching in Paraguay and with América's U-20 team showcases his ability to lead and guide a team toward success.

The challenge ahead for Ortiz is undoubtedly significant. Rayados is a club with high expectations and a passionate fanbase. With Vucetich's departure, there will be pressure on Ortiz to make an immediate impact and guide the team to glory. However, if his track record is any indication, he has the potential to rise to the occasion.

Rayados fans will be eager to see how Ortiz implements his tactics and style of play with the team. Will he bring a fresh approach, or will he build upon the foundations laid by his predecessor? Only time will tell.

One thing is for sure: the intense rivalry between Rayados and Tigres adds an intriguing element to Ortiz's appointment. Having played for Tigres and now coaching Rayados, he will be familiar with the dynamics of the Clásico Regio, a match that holds immense significance for fans on both sides of the divide. His experiences with Tigres could provide him with unique insights into the team's strategies and weaknesses.

As the new era under Fernando Ortiz begins, Rayados supporters will eagerly anticipate the team's performance on the field. Can he lead the club to success, reigniting their championship aspirations? Will he be able to guide the team past their bitter rivals and claim victory in the Clásico Regio? The answers lie in the hands of the "Tano," who now carries the weight of expectations as Rayados' new coach.

For now, all eyes are on Fernando Ortiz as he steps into the spotlight, ready to leave his mark on the history of Rayados. The journey begins, and the fans eagerly await the unfolding of this new chapter in the club's story. Let the "Tano" era commence!