American Exports preview: Castillo & Co. face "must-win"

Edgar Castillo with Club Tijuana.

Photo Credit: 
MexSport

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The 12th round of matches in Mexico’s 2012 Clausura championship is already underway and continues this weekend, with time running out for teams wanting to make a last ditch run at the playoffs.

For the time being, Club Tijuana are focused on getting three points at home against Atlas to ensure they will be in the Mexican first division next season (Saturday, 10 pm ET, Azteca America).

“A game we have to win,” is how US international Edgar Castillo described his club’s situation to the local press. “With three points in the bag, we will start to think about the playoffs.”

Head coach Antonio Mohamed has been having a look at putting Greg Garza in the starting XI during training, according to press reports coming out of Tijuana, with the Xolos’ other American first-teamer Joe Corona busy scoring goals for the US U-23s in Olympic qualifying.

Santos Laguna’s Herculez Gomez was rested last weekend, but should be back on Saturdayurday as the league-leading Guerreros take on cellar-dwellers Querétaro at the Estadio Corona (9 pm ET, TeleFutura).

Michael Orozco Fiscal’s San Luis host Sonny Guadarrama’s Atlante on Saturdayurday, looking for consecutive victories to propel them into playoff contention (10:45 pm ET, Galavision).

Tigres UANL's Yanks Jonathan Bornstein, Victor Garza and Moises Orozco all have an outside chance of getting minutes against Pumas UNAM on Sundayday, the latter two due to the Mexican champions missing three forwards (2 pm ET, Univision).

DaMarcus Beasley’s Puebla also take the field Sundayday and are looking for their first home win of the season against Cruz Azul (2 pm ET, Azteca America). La Franja go into the game without coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who resigned earlier in the week.

In Mexico’s second division, Isaac Acuña’s Mérida play Estudiantes de Altamira (Fri, 9 pm ET), Marco Vidal’s Club León travel to Cruz Azul Hidalgo (Sunday, 2 pm ET) and Jesús Padilla’s La Piedad face Neza (Sunday, 2:30 pm ET).

Down in Central America, Jeff Cunningham’s Comunicaciones face Juventud Retalteca (Sunday, 6 pm ET) after falling 2-1 midweek in the clásico against Municipal.

Further south in Bolivia, Alejandro Meleán’s Oriente Petrolero host Nacional Potosí (Sunday, 6:30 pm ET).

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.