American Exports preview: Tijuana look to turn it around
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – With just four games to go in the regular season of Mexico's first division, the coming weekend's games are crucial for Americans the other side of the Rio Grande.
Edgar Castillo (above), Joe Corona and Greg Garza are all available for Club Tijuana's important game against Sonny Guadarrama's Atlante (Saturday, 10 pm ET, Azteca America). Only five points separate the two sides and the Xolos will be desperate to make home-field advantage at the Estadio Caliente count, as they have only one win in their last four games.
José Torres' Pachuca travel to lackluster Pumas UNAM on Sunday, looking to edge that little bit nearer to guaranteeing their place in the post-season (Sunday, 1 pm ET, Univision).
Michael Orozco Fiscal and San Luis are all but out of the playoff race, but will be relegation candidates for next season, meaning every point is vital – even at this stage of the season. San Luis face Jaguares on Saturday in the Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramírez (8 pm ET, Galavision).
For Puebla and DaMarcus Beasley, there is another chance to win their first home game of the season, but it won't be easy against playoff-pushers Toluca (Sunday, 1 pm ET, Fox Deportes, Azteca America).
Jonathan Bornstein's Tigres UANL face Monterrey in the Clásico Regiomontano, although the midfielder is still looking for his first minutes of the season (Saturday, 10 pm ET Univision).
Herculez Gomez is out of Santos Laguna's game against Estudiantes Tecos on Saturday (8 pm ET, Univision), but los Guerreros are already qualified for the playoffs. Gomez is out for seven to 10 days recovering from a groin strain.
In Mexico's second division, Isaac Acuña's Mérida face Correcaminos (Saturday, 8 pm ET), Marco Vidal's León travel to play Dorados de Sinaloa (Saturday, 9 pm ET) and Jesús Padilla's La Piedad host the Universidad de Guadalajara (Sunday, 1:30 pm ET).
Down in Bolivia, Alejandro Meleán is set to play for Oriente Petrolero against Universitario (Sunday, 3 pm ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.