Liga MX newbies Mazatlan tab 'Paco' Palencia as boss

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Former Mexico international Francisco "Paco" Palencia will be the first head coach of Liga MX newcomer Mazatlan, which will debut in the 2020 Apertura after the ownership moved the franchise from its original site in Morelia.

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The club announced Palencia via a series of clues on social media related to the coach being a fan of heavy metal music.

"Welcome Juan Francisco Palencia, the first head coach in the history of our team!" read the tweet to announce the coach, accompanied by a rock music video.

The former Pumas player is likely to be in charge of the bulk of the squad that Morelia had on its books before the franchise was relocated to Mazatlan last week.

The move from central Mexico to the Pacific Coast town of Mazatlan was controversial and sparked protests in Morelia, although the new club has been bold on social media so far, calling out critics and telling those that don't like the club to "jump overboard."

Palencia has previously managed Pumas and Lobos BUAP and featured for Mexico in two World Cups.

Liga MX will kick off the 2020 Apertura behind closed doors on July 24 and with a revised playoff format.

The new system will see the top four clubs in the regular season advance to the quarterfinals, while fifth place down to 12th will play an elimination round of games to decide the other four quarterfinalists.

The elimination round will be one game only, with the team highest in the table hosting and penalties to decide which team goes through in case of a draw after 90 minutes. Fifth place will play against 12th, sixth versus 11th etcetera.

The 2020 Apertura final is schedule for Dec. 12.