American Exports: Gomez, Cunningham on target
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Whatever else it may have been, this past weekend’s action involving Yanks in Latin America was not uneventful.
On Sunday, Santos Laguna coach Benjamín Galindo inserted Herculez Gomez at halftime against Chivas after a poor first half left last season’s runners-up 1-0 down against the Guadalajara club.
With recently named advisor Johan Cruyff watching in the stands, Chivas added another in the 58th minute to go 2-0 up. But Santos pulled one back 12 minutes from time as Gomez latched on to a long through-ball from Spaniard Marc Crosas and executed a precise looping header over the Chivas goalkeeper and into the net to open his account for Santos.
Gomez again made his presence felt in stoppage time, earning a penalty when he was adjudged to have been dragged down by Chivas defender Jonny Magallón, but his resulting spot-kick was saved by a diving Luis Míchel to keep the game at 2-1 with one minute remaining.
In the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana on Saturday, Joe Corona side-footed home from the left wing in the 15th minute against Toluca to grab his first goal of the season send him off to the US U-23 squad’s Wednesday game against Mexico full of confidence. Also involved in the 1-1 tie was Edgar Castillo, who once again completed the full 90 minutes.
Back in Mexico, José Francisco Torres completed the 90 minutes in Pachuca's 1-1 tie against Tigres UANL on Saturday in the Estadio Hidalgo, but picked up an injury towards the end of the game. It was announced on Sunday night that Torres will miss the US’ friendly against Italy in Genoa on Wednesday. Jonathan Bornstein was an unused substitute for Tigres.
DaMarcus Beasley played 61 minutes for Puebla in their 2-1 loss to Monterrey on Saturday at the Estadio Tecnológico.
San Luis lost 1-0 at home to Atlas, with Michael Orozco Fiscal an unused substitute.
In Mexico's second division, Jesús Padilla came on for the last 20 minutes in CF La Piedad’s 0-0 home tie against Club Mérida. Isaac Acuña was an unused substitute for the visitors.
The other American goalscorer this week was in Guatemala, where Jeff Cunningham, in his return from suspension, got Comunicaciones their first goal in their 4-2 victory over Suchitepéquez on Saturday. The strike makes it three this season for the MLS all-time top scorer. The win moves Comunicaciones into second position in the table, four points off Marquense.
In Venezuela, goalkeeper Diego Restrepo played for Deportivo Táchira's second-division team in its 1-1 tie against Zamora.
Alejandro Meléan was sent off in the 78th minute during Oriente Petrolero's 3-1 loss against Aurora in Bolivia.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.