American Exports: Herculez Gomez stays hot as Santos Laguna warm up for Houston

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna are hoping home cooking helps them overturn a 1-0 deficit to Houston in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday. And if this weekend’s win over Atlante is any indicator, los Guerreros are ready for the challenge.

Gomez scored with a free kick from almost 30 yards out to help Santos to a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening at Estadio Corona. The US international swung his spot kick around the wall and into the bottom corner of the goal in the 42nd to net his third goal in two games as Santos moved up to fourth position in the Liga MX table.

The forward went the full 90 alongside Oribe Peralta in the Santos attack.

Elsewhere, Greg Garza returned to Club Tijuana’s starting lineup for the first time in 2013, but Xolos fell 1-0 to Querétaro  on Saturday in the Estadio Caliente, with a few regulars rested for the midweek trip to face Corinthians in Brazil. Garza was the only American involved for Tijuana, with Joe Corona not in the 18 and Edgar Castillo injured.

READ: US national team's injured list keeps growing

Another Texan, Jose “Gringo” Torres was on the winning side. His Tigres UANL team overcame San Luis 2-1 on Saturday and, with World Cup qualifiers on the horizon, Torres again stated his case with an authoritative display in the heart of the Tigres midfield, before being taken off in the 82nd.

Puebla duo DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco Fiscal were on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline at home against Pumas UNAM, with Martín Bravo scoring one minute from time. Both Americans went the full 90 minutes as Puebla slipped outside the playoff spots.

Down in the Ascenso MX, Sonny Guadarrama was on the scoresheet in Merida’s 1-1 draw with Celaya on Friday evening.

In El Salvador, former Cal FC stopper Derby Carrillo featured for Santa Tecla in their 1-1 draw on Saturday at Metapán.

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.