American Exports preview: Castillo, Xolos chase playoffs
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Attention shifts once again to domestic action after a midweek international break that saw the US U-23 squad tally an impressive 2-0 against Mexico, and likely give Yanks plying their trade in Latin America plenty of material with which to rib their Mexican teammates.
There is a potential clash between US internationals in Torreón on Saturday, with Herculez Gomez set to start for Santos Laguna against San Luis (8 pm, TeleFutura), just days before the team takes on Seattle Sounders in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Center back Michael Orozco Fiscal could be charged with stopping the striker.
San Luis announced Sergio Bueno's appointment as coach earlier in the week, making this game that much more important for Orozco Fiscal. The defender had fallen out of favor with former coach Rene Isidoro over the last couple of weeks and will be anxious to get back into the starting eleven under Bueno.
DaMarcus Beasley's Puebla are pulling out all the promotional stops to bring the fans into the Estadio Cuauhtémoc on Sunday against a rejuvenated Chivas side (5 pm ET, Fox Deportes, America Azteca), with a video and poster campaign hyping the encounter.
Beasley has pitched in, too, telling the club's website, “We will give everything on the field to make the fans happy.”
On Friday, Club Tijuana visit Zapopan and faces an Estudiantes Tecos side desperate for points to climb out of its relegation hole, but the Xolos are looking up toward the playoffs (9:10 pm, Galavision).
Edgar Castillo should start for Tijuana, with Joe Corona and Greg Garza in contention after being part of the US U-23 squad that defeated Mexico on Wednesday.
Jonathan Bornstein's Tigres UANL, meanwhile, host Sonny Guadarrama's Atlante on Saturday (8 pm ET, Galavision).
José Torres will miss Pachuca's trip to Atlas (Saturday, 9:45 pm, Galavision), with the right hamstring strain that kept him out of the US national team's midweek jaunt to Italy.
Local press in Pachuca suggest he could be out for at least another week, although the club has not confirmed anything.
In Mexico's second division, Isaac Acuña's Club Mérida play Veracruz (Saturday, 8 pm) and Jesús Padilla's La Piedad face off against Marco Vidal's Club León (Saturday, 9 pm).
In Guatemala, Jeff Cunningham's Comunicaciones are trying to close the gap on leaders Marquense when they take on Heredia on Saturday (8 pm ET).
Further south, Universidad de Concepción and Jimmy Maurer host O´Higgins (2 pm ET) in Chile's top league.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org