Do San Lorenzo Have What it Takes to Return to Glory Days?

By Martín O’Donnell

The great start to the Copa de la Liga Profesional for El Ciclón has brought hope back to Boedo. Although the first match against Argentinos Juniors wasn’t the expected return after several months of lockdown, Mariano Soso’s side look to be in good shape so soon after the new manager’s first games in charge. 

Los Cuervos recorded back to back wins defeating Estudiantes at home and Aldosivi in Mar del Plata and particularly after the great performance in that last game, fans and players of San Lorenzo are enjoying a good atmosphere as the team leads the way in Group 5. But is this positive start to the new season enough to believe that things are finally going in the right direction?

It’s been more than 4 years since the Azulgrana lifted a trophy, and the last major title was that highly desired Copa Libertadores in 2014. Since then, the promising momentum of El Ciclón has declined and it hit rock bottom last year with a poor 23rd placed finish in the Superliga 2018-19.

Since Edgardo Bauza led the club to the Libertadores, during a two-year stint in charge, there have been serious problems finding a long-term manager for the first team. Only Diego Aguirre and Claudio Biaggio stayed for more than one year, apart from them, there was not a single man that kept the job that long. Pablo Guede (before Aguirre), Jorge Almirón, Juan Antonio Pizzi and Diego Monarriz have all come and gone as the head of San Lorenzo’s squad. 

The decision of president Marcelo Tinelli of naming Mariano Soso as the new coach took many people by surprise due to the relative inexperience of the 38-year-old manager, although he was appointed as a promising, game-obsessed, offensive coach. Soso has had to wait a number of months to finally get his team into an official game, and after three, he can relax a little with good results and promising performances.

Although there’s only been three games since his arrival, there have been some very positive things that his players have showed. First of all, to talk about San Lorenzo’s championship chances, you have to talk about Paraguayan brothers Ángel and Óscar Romero. 

The twins may have what it takes to get their side to the next level. In the 2-0 victory against Estudiantes, they showed what they are capable of and a breathtaking performance led the team to an important win. Nevertheless, the following match they weren’t available as they were named for the Paraguay national team for the World Cup Qualifiers, and Soso’s squad provided proof that they could manage without their main stars. 

In only a few matches, the new manager has given important roles to youngsters such as Federico Gattoni, Mariano Peralta Bauer, Alexander Diaz, Matias Palacios (a very promising talent but currently isolated because of a positive COVID-19 test), among others who all saw first team action in the last games. 

It is clear that the presence of the Romero brothers is very important, but also San Lorenzo showed that they have other weapons to go for a good run in this cup. 

However, it is well known that bad results can change the whole atmosphere of a club, and sometimes patience is needed for a sustained, positive process. That may be San Lorenzo’s situation. For now, they can enjoy their current good form after two wins in three games. Whether this momentum keeps going or not, the hope of returning to glory days is back in Boedo, at least as something that can be achieved in the long-term, with promising talent and a young manager who give those players an important role. 

Martin O’Donnell – 20 years old. Sports writer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Student of Communications