Gringo Report: Gomez introduced for Santos Laguna

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – With just more than a week to go until the Mexican first division starts all over again, American players are working hard in friendlies for both fitness and a starting slot for next week's big kickoff.

US international Herculez Gomez is enduring a short, hard preseason with new team Santos Laguna, including triple training sessions. The 29-year-old was presented to the press on Tuesday in Torreón, where he spoke of his desire to earn a first-team spot and win the championship with the Guerreros.

José Francisco Torres and Pachuca arrive at the new season in good form after beating Clausura 2011 champions Pumas UNAM 4-1 on Tuesday in a game made up of three “halves” of 45 minutes. Torres went 83 minutes.

Club Tijuana closed their preseason with a 1-0 victory over Atlante, with Edgar Castillo starting as wingback. At halftime, both Joe Corona and Greg Garza entered the fray in the Estadio Caliente.

DaMarcus Beasley returned from his short Christmas break and started for Puebla in their 1-0 loss against Neza on Wednesday. New arrival Eddie Johnson has been slightly delayed in his arrival at La Franja due to problems sorting out his immigration papers, the club said in a statement.

Michael Orozco Fiscal came on at halftime and went 45 minutes for San Luis in their 3-0 victory against Correcaminos. The result means the Gladiadores complete the preseason with a record of three victories and three ties.

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.