Gringo Report preview: US nat'l-teamers back in club action
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — After a week of either rest or international commitments for Americans playing south of the Rio Grande, it's back to club action as the Mexican Primera División edges nearer to the halfway mark.
Unbeaten in three games, DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla face a tough task at home against Monterrey (Sunday, 1 pm ET; FOX Deportes), but Beasley will at least be fresh after not being picked by coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the recent US friendlies.
Herculez Gomez also missed out and will be hoping to be in the starting XI when Estudiantes Tecos face sixth-placed Jaguares (Friday, 9:10 pm ET; Galavision). The striker has not started in the two games since new coach Raúl Arias took over the university team.
Los Angeles-area native Jonathan Bornstein played an hour midweek in the Rio Grande Plate against FC Dallas and was an unused sub in Tigres UANL's last league game but has still not got on the field during the Apertura 2011. The Monterrey-based team faces USMNT returnee José Francisco Torres and his Pachuca side on Saturday (9 pm, ET), in one of the more appealing games of the weekend in the Mexican top flight.
Club América play Sonny Guadarrama's Atlante in the Estadio Azteca on Sunday evening (5 pm ET; Univisión) with New Mexico native Edgar Castillo hoping to be named in the starting team and 22-year-old Isaac Acuña – who told MLSsoccer.com this week that the USMNT is tracking him – looking for playing time.
After receiving a knee to the head and being knocked out cold playing for the Mexican Under-22s in Chile on Wednesday, Sacramento, Calif.-born Miguel Ángel Ponce will not feature in Chivas de Guadalajara's game away in the Santos stadium that Bob Bradley looked set to make his new home earlier this week (Saturday, 8 pm ET; TeleFutura).
In other games involving Americans in Mexico: Michael Orozco Fiscal's San Luis travel to Atlas (Saturday, 9:45 pm ET; Galavisión), Joe Benny Corona returns from the Mexico U-22 squad for Tijuana away against Toluca (Sunday, 1 pm ET) and, in the Mexican second tier, Marco Vidal and Club León face Universidad de Guadalajara on Sunday (9 pm ET).
In Colombia, Diego Restrepo is likely to be benched for América de Cali's Friday evening game against Envigado (9 pm, ET) despite his recent good form.
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org