Gringo Report: Americans all but shut out of playoffs

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – With the dust settling on the final matchday of Mexican Apertura play, only three Americans are set to be involved in the playoffs, as weekend results went against Yanks down south.

US call-up Michael Orozco Fiscal’s San Luis Potosi beat Toluca 5-1 on Saturday, but fell short of making the playoffs by just two points. Orozco Fiscal played the full game.

Sonny Guadarrama got a rare start for Atlante and grabbed goal when he reacted sharply to bundle in a shot Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco had spilled. Los Potros ended up losing 3-2 and finished the Apertura 2011 in 14th place.

Herculez Gomez played 64 minutes for Estudiantes Tecos in their 3-0 away loss to Querétaro on Saturday. Tecos will start next season in last place in the relegation table.

Sacramento-born Miguel Ángel Ponce set up the first goal in CD Guadalajara’s 2-2 tie with Pachuca with a low cross from the left wing and completed the 90 minutes. Chivas finish the season in first place and will play Querétaro in the quarterfinals.

The result also means José Francisco Torres’ Tuzos make the playoffs, giving the World Cup midfielder a chance at playing again this season as he recovers from a broken foot – the quarterfinals don’t start until Nov. 16.

Jonathan Bornstein is the other American to have made it to the playoffs, with his Tigres UANL side beating DaMarcus Beasley’s Puebla 1-0 in Sunday action. US call-up Beasley put in his regular 90-minute shift for Puebla, picking up a yellow card in the 68th minute. Bornstein was not involved for Tigres.

Fresh from his US Under-23 call-up, Joe Benny Corona started his first game for Club Tijuana since Sept. 18. Tijuana tied Pumas UNAM 1-1 on Sunday and Corona went 54 minutes before being brought off.

Club América’s dismal season ended with a 3-1 defeat to city rivals Cruz Azul on Saturday. Isaac Acuña and Edgar Castillo did not dress.

Tom Marshall can be reached on tom.marshall.mex @gmail.com and on Twitter: @mexicoworldcup