Gringo Report: Torres keeps Pachuca ticking in midfield

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — With the US national team playing Italy at the end of February, time is running out for Americans south of the border to stake their claim for a place in the squad.

José Francisco Torres seems to be taking his chance. “El Gringo” again started for Pachuca on Saturday, going the full 90 minutes as los Tuzos strolled past Estudiantes Tecos 2-0. The win moved Pachuca to third in the table and extended their unbeaten run to six games.

Torres produced an all-action display in the Estadio Hidalgo, taking set pieces, keeping the team ticking and earning himself a yellow card in the 62nd for a late tackle.

DaMarcus Beasley made an immediate impact after coming on for Puebla in the 66th on Sunday afternoon. Two minutes after entering the field, the left winger provided the assist for his team's second goal in a fine 2-0 victory over Pumas UNAM in the Estadio Olímpico Universitario.

Beasley now has two assists and a goal in his last three appearances.

Another gringo enjoying a good start to the season is Edgar Castillo, whose foraging runs down the left wing on Sunday were a constant thorn in the side of Cruz Azul. Castillo played the full game in the 0-0 tie, with Joe Benny Corona also starting and having a couple of half chances in the Estadio Caliente before being brought off in the 55th minute.

Michael Orozco Fiscal's San Luis are having a horrid time of late, going down to their fourth consecutive defeat on Saturday against Jonathan Bornstein's Tigres UANL.

Orozco Fiscal went the full 90 for los Gladiadores in the Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramírez, but Bornstein was an unused substitute.

Herculez Gomez was an unused substitute in Santos' 3-1 loss against Morelia on Friday, while Greg Garza was also left on the bench for Club Tijuana.

In Guatemala, Jeff Cunningham started for second-place Comunicaciones on Sunday, but they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against last-place team Mictlán.

Also on Sunday, this time a few hundred miles south in Bolivia, Alejandro Meleán's Oriente Petrolero went down 2-0 against Real Potosí, with Meleán going the full 90 minutes.

In Mexico's second division, Jesús Padilla got on for the last eight minutes of La Piedad's 2-0 victory over Altamira.

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