American Exports preview: Playoffs on the line in Mexico
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – There are a couple of vital playoff clashes in Mexico this weekend involving Americans.
First up on Friday, seventh-placed Club Tijuana´s Yanks travel to the other side of the country to face Jaguares de Chiapas.
Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona are set to start for the Xolos, who could qualify for the playoffs with a win, depending on the result of Sunday´s Toluca-Cruz Azul game.
Texan Greg Garza, meanwhile, is hoping for his fourth appearance of the season (Friday, 9:10 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes, Azteca America).
Also Friday evening, DaMarcus Beasley´s Puebla take on Estudiantes Tecos in the Estadio Tres de Marzo, with the three-time World Cup veteran riding a hot streak of three goals in five games (9:10 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes).
Beasley´s team can still mathematically make the playoffs.
Another American on a goalscoring roll, Herculez Gomez, will not be playing for Santos Laguna against America in the Estadio Azteca on Saturday, with one eye on Wednesday´s CONCACAF Champions League final against Monterrey.
José Francisco “El Gringo” Torres is set to start for Pachuca at home against Morelia, with a win pretty-much guaranteeing los Tuzos a playoff spot with two games to go (Sat, 8 p.m. ET, Telefutura).
Michael Orozco Fiscal´s San Luis is out of the playoff reckoning but face rivals Queretaro in the clásico del centro (Sat, 6 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes).
The final game of the Mexican first division involves Sonny Guadarrama´s Atlante against strugglers Pumas (9:55 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes).
Jonathan Bornstein´s Tigres are already in the playoffs and will break the record for the longest undefeated streak at home since short tournaments began in Mexico in 1996 if they can get at least a draw against Chivas (Sat, 8 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes).
In Mexico´s second division, Marco Vidal´s Club León hosts Isaac Acuña´s Club Mérida (Sat, 9 p.m. ET).
In Guatemala, Jeff Cunningham´s Comunicaciones travel to Peñarol La Mesilla, looking to hone in on yet another title.
In Bolivia, Alejandro Meleán´s Oriente Petrolero is also in the championship hunt, and play Real Potosí on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET).
Finally, in Peru, Diego Chavarri is hoping for minutes for Cobresol against Real Atlético after debuting for the club last week (2:30 p.m. ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.