RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Friday, February 21

14-Man Micro-Metaphysical Roster: CF MONTERREY

{Rogelio Funes Mori putting Monterrey up in last season's first leg of the final}

[14-Man Micro-Metaphysical Roster is a football metaphysics methodology calculating minutes played per the last 50 competitive matches for a North American football club, weighting that shit more heavily for most recent matches, and using them calculations to list the 14 players constituting the strongest psychic force on a club’s current path. This is done at Football Metaphysics Space twice a month for the Premier League clubs in England, and now I’m doing it for the top clubs in North America, two per month. Venmo me for my emotionless labor @ravenmack23.]

I've been horribly remiss in doing my football
metaphysics writings for Monterrey, or the next English Premier League one with
the whole crew. I think I saw an astrology woman post an IG meme about Mercury
retrograde, and normally I think all that shit is as silly as religion or
politics or science, but for some reason right now it feels like everybody is
an extremely squeezed psychic state. This would obviously be an important time
for football metaphysics, as football is the expression of life through sport,
and our collective metaphysics is kinda fucked at the moment, the football
becomes beautiful chaos in our lives as medicine, right? RIGHT?

Anyways, Monterrey is a place that intrigues me,
meaning the city itself, because it's a bastion of weekly lucha libre, which is
something that speaks to me strongly. It's also for some reason a strange
pocket of musical hybrydization where a Mexican DJ who made mixtapes at a flea
market started slowing down cumbia music from Colombia, because there's a large
presence of Colombians in Monterrey. Sonidero Duenez, the DJ in question,
created a screwed and chopped music style like we saw in Houston in America,
but a decade before, in Mexico. So all of this suggests to me it's a special
geographical area metaphysically.

2019 was a pretty big year for Monterrey the club
as well though. They won the North American version of the Champions League the
first half of the year, and had advanced from an 8th-place seeding to the
finals of the Liguilla (the Liga MX playoffs) the second half of 2019, and in
fact had to postpone that final home and away with Club America because of Club
World Cup obligations in Qatar, where they finished 3rd, and got to play
against Liverpool. Current manager Antonio Mohamed, who absolutely will trip
you out by looking like the most art gallery metrosexual director tecnico
possible on the sidelines, actually played for them back at the end of last
century, and managed them for about four years up until 2018, before getting a
shot in Europe managing Celta de Vigo in Spain. He did not last long though,
and returned to Monterrey this past October before their big playoff run to a
trophy. Here are the fourteen men who have helped that recent trajectory, which
had been mostly good, though they currently sit at the bottom of the Liga MX
table for this season…

– Aging central defender that played all his life in his native
Argentina before coming on up to Monterrey in 2017. And at this point he's an
angry looking fucker, which is ultimately necessary in the rough and more
tumble world of Mexican futbol. And it's actually highly relevant as we have
CONCACAF Champions League knockout stages starting, because that style just sort
of is part of Mexican futbol, and not part of MLS at all, so that once they hit
cross-border play in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Mexican clubs just
brutalize everybody else, and yet have the finesse to follow the barbarism on
the back side with sweet attacks on the front end. Sadly, Monterrey's Apertura
2019 championship doesn't qualify them until next year's Champions League, and
for some fucked up reason, even though they re-organized to squeeze all the
Central American countries into six slots basically, the defending champions is
not an automatic qualifier. That shit makes no sense at all, especially
considering the US and Mexico get the same number of clubs, but you add in
Canada's token entrant (always a fifth MLS club), and it makes no fucking sense
times two. Pinche gringos.

– Colombian defender, and one of two prominent players that have
strong histories with Atletico Nacional there in Medellin. I've had a
long-running flirty relationship with a Colombian barista at work, and she's an
Atletico Nacional supporter BIG TIME, and also loves cumbia music. Because of
all this, Monterrey is her favorite club in Mexico. (She's married to a Mexican
dude, who is a Club American supporter. I live in fear he will kill me one day
because he finds out she tugs on my beard. That is not a euphemism, sadly.) All
this being said, I really hope at some point, Stefan Medina's nickname has been
"Funky Col'".

– Monterrey is chock full of Argentines, but Barovero is the elder
statesmen of them, occupying the GK role for Los Rayados since summer of 2018.
He’d spent the previous two years with Necaxa, and I’ve come to love his dead
eyes look. He’s not the tallest of GKs, which may be why he never got to
Europe, despite having featured prominently for River Plate, and is still
considered a club hero there.

– Mexican football has been trying to crack down on homophobic
tendencies in th supporter bases, and unfortunately after Monterrey won
Liguilla at the end of last season, Gallardo got caught on tape singing an
anti-Club America chant that was full of anti-gay shit. He got suspended for
the first two matches of this Clausura 2020 season, but tweeted "Ni
modo" or "whatever" after the suspension was announced. Gallardo
will have been with Los Rayados for two years come May, and has been a regular
for the Mexican national team as well. Gallardo can play winger on the left
side, and possesses good speed and ability to circulate the ball, but has
fallen into a left back in recent years as well. Obviously having a potent
winger at left back helps the attack when you wanna open shit up though.

– Ortiz is a Paraguayan midfielder who first made his name for that
country's pre-eminent club, Cerro Porteno. That led to him putting in half a
dozen seasons over in the Netherlands for AZ, who's most notable for their guest
appearances on early Nas albums, including Illmatic. He's been with Monterrey
since summer of 2016, which is a long time in football history I guess, but
really Donald Trump wasn't even President at that point.

– Rodriguez is one of Monterrey's most famous homegrown stars,
who came up through their youth academy, and outside of a brief loan spell to
Toledo (Mexico, not Ohio), he's played his entire professional career with Los
Rayados. In the past year, due to his role with Monterrey, he's also gotten
invites to the Mexican national team camp, and played for them in the Gold Cup
as well. Having just turned 23 this past month, he's one of Monterrey's young
players of the future, but also you know how that goes. A lot of times those
dudes get sold off because they're worth more that way than taking up a space
the club wants to give to another Argentine dude.

– Funes Mori is the go-to goal getter for Monterrey, and has
been for a while. He came up through River Plate in his native Argentina, but
also spent time in the USA as a youth player in Texas, which is actually
shocking to be honest. There was a reality TV show called Sueno MLS (I gotta
start being more dedicated to using Spanish letters), which he won, and that
got him a spot in the FC Dallas youth academy. His pops played in Argentina in
the '80s, and Funes Mori actually went back to Argentina, to play for River
Plate (the Republicans to Boca Juniors Democrats). Doing well there, he spent a
few years in Europe, in both Portugal and Turkey, before coming to Monterrey,
where he's become their big man on the scoresheet, and is actually their
all-time 2nd best scorer, but if he spends another full year on the squad,
keeping Vincent Janssen off the field, he'll likely catch up with leader
Humberto Suazo. Only 28 too, so definitely found his lane at Monterrey, and the
previous experience in Texas means he'll transition well to a few more
nice-paying low-impact seasons in MLS eventually as well.

– Dorlan Pabon has been with Monterrey constantly since 2014, and was
there for a season before then, having been sold for a season to Valencia when
he was in his prime, but returning to Monterrey, where he is without question
the heart and soul of this club. He's one of those players who you can watch
just sort of decide "okay, fuck it, I'm taking it to the next level"
and start to dominate a fifteen-minute chunk of a match, with the attack
building behind his energy, and you know they're gonna get a goal out of it
eventually. But he also just turned 32, so that energy is harder to follow with
his body when his soul decides it that time. Not sure they really have anybody
quite like Pabon on deck yet though.

– Young Monterrey youth academy dude who plays center back, and has
first learned the ways of Mexican football's rough and tumble defensiveness.
Another young staple for the club, whose been with the club for over six years,
despite only being 22.

– 27-year-old Argentine midfielder who spent his entire career in his
native country before joining Monterrey at the beginning of last year, and
helping them with that Champions League run. Also the guy on the team with a
name that most sounds like he's a minor rapper with Dipset.

– Ah yes, a Mexican hero who played prominently in Europe, in
England, Portugal, and finally Spain. He hath returned to Monterrey just over a
year ago as a big name to help bolster the club's runs in both Liga MX and
CONCACAF Champions League. At age 31, he still had offers in Italy and Spain,
so him coming home to Mexico was one of those "the competition here is at
the highest levels, and I'm glad to be home" moments that the rubes eat
the fuck up. Side note: his paternal grandpa was a Lebanese immigrant to
Mexico, which means there is likely an appreciation of both tacos lengua as
well as falafel in his home. That might not mean anything to you, but that's
high level football metaphysics.

– Vangioni is Argentine of Italian descent, and the ethnic
histories of different South American countries is wild, and how it still shows
itself in football so strongly. Vangioni had a number of strong seasons at
River Plate after making a name for his self playing for Newell's Old Boys. He
actually got himself a free transfer to Milan in Italy's Serie A for one
season, making 15 appearances. Summer of 2017, he signed with Monterrey to
return to this side of the Earth.

– Pizarro's a Mexican midfielder who had been with Monterrey for
two years, and actually had played with Guadalajara before that, which means he
was on the CONCACAF Champions League winning club the past two years. That
won't happen this year, because he was a big transfer from Liga MX to MLS, to
join the expansion Inter Miami club, which is a stupid fucking name for a club.
There was some lawyerball in that transfer, with Monterrey disputing the
release clause being honored correctly, so Pizarro just split last week to
Miami, fuck it. They finalized the deal earlier this week though. So when MLS
starts up and this stupid new club is getting pushed down your throat (if you
watch MLS), prepare yourself for some Rodolfo Pizarro.

– I always wonder how European dudes end up in Liga MX, to be
honest. But even with that, Vincent Jannsen is even more of a mystery, a Dutch
striker who somehow ended up in Monterrey last summer, after a loan spell in
Fenerbahce when he wasn't getting time for Tottenham Hotspurs. I mean, he came
back the season before last, but they said he was injured and didn't issue him
a number, and he sat out almost the entire season. The most prominent European
in Liga MX is Andre-Pierre Gignac with Tigres (of the greater Monterrey area as
well), so the move seemed like a keeping up with the joneses type move. Janssen
gets a lot of prominent push during matches for Monterrey, but didn't really
light it up in league play like expected. He did run roughshod in Copa MX
against second team dudes with 3-digit numbers though. And he mostly looks mad
out there, which is hella funny to watch. I want every club to have a token
European in Liga MX.

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