Gringo Report preview: Ponce, Beasley in weekend clash
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Sacramento, Calif., native Miguel Ángel Ponce is back in contention for top-of-the-table Chivas de Guadalajara clash against Puebla on Saturday evening (8 pm ET, Telemundo) after recovering from being knocked out cold during the Mexico Under-22 game against Chile on Sept. 7.
The injury occurred when Ponce, trying to defend a cross in Mexico’s area, was struck in the jaw by a Chilean player’s knee as he tried to head the ball into the net. After a week of light training, Ponce was cleared to play by a neurologist.
For Puebla, 29-year-old DaMarcus Beasley, who has a goal to his name this season, will be looking to make amends for last week´s last-minute gaffe that led to Monterrey scoring an equalizer.
There is a major relegation battle on Sunday (3 pm ET, ESPN Deportes) when Joe Corona's Club Tijuana takes on Herculez Gomez's Estudiantes Tecos. The clubs make up the bottom two in the Mexican first division's relegation table.
For Tijuana, who are currently at the end of the relegation percentage table, the three points could go a long way in keeping them in the Primera División after the Clausura 2012. Estudiantes, meanwhile, will be looking to break a two-game losing streak.
Following regular playing time at left back during this Apertura 2011 season, Las Cruces, N.M., native Edgar Castillo will be desperate that Club América win away against Jaguares on Saturday (6 pm ET, Azteca America). A loss could signal a change of coach at the club and a period of uncertainty for the misfiring team, and therefore Castillo.
Forward Isaac Acuña will also be hoping to feature for América at some stage.
Texan José Francisco Torres and Pachuca had a nightmare last time out and were battered 5-0 by Tigres UANL. This Saturday evening, the 23-year-old and his teammates will try to make amends against the league's last-place team, Atlas (8 pm ET, TeleFutura).
In other games, Michael Orozco Fiscal and San Luis play Santos at home (Saturday 9:45 pm ET, Galavisión), Jonathan Bornstein´s Tigres UANL take on Atlante (Saturday, 10 pm ET, TeleFutura), while in the Liga de Ascenso, Marco Vidal's Club León travel to Pumas Morelos (Saturday, 5 pm ET).
Sporting Cristal play Inti Gas in the Peruvian league without New York-born winger Diego Chávarri, who recently injured his right leg and will be out of action for a further couple weeks.
In Colombia, goalkeeper Diego Restrepo is likely to be on the bench for América de Cali in their game against Itagüí on Saturday (9 pm ET, GolTV).
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter: @mexicoworldcup