American Exports: Pair of 'keepers debut in Latin America
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – It was a big weekend for two American goalkeepers south of the border.
In Colombia's first division, 21-year-old New York-born netminder Kevin Piedrahita debuted for Itaguí against rivals Atlético Nacional and put in a Man of the Match performance to earn a 1-1 tie for his team.
Piedrahita, who joined Itaguí from América de Cali in late July, made crucial saves in the fifth and 43rd minutes and didn't put a foot or hand wrong throughout his debut.
It was Piedrahita's first full game in the regular season of Colombia's Liga Postobón and came about due to an injury to first-choice Águilas Doradas 'keeper Robinson Zapata.
“It was a great opportunity to show the qualities I have and a satisfactory result for both teams,” Piedrahita told Colombia TV after the game after being named Itaguí's MVP.
Further north in El Salvador, Southern Californian shot-stopper Derby Carrillo (pictured above) debuted Sunday and played his part in Santa Tecla's first-ever victory in that country's top division, recording a 2-1 road victory against Once Municipal. Carrillo was the backstop for US Open Cup insurgents Cal FC earlier this summer.
In Mexico's first division, it was the last chance for Americans to impress ahead of Jurgen Klinsmann's squad announcement for the friendly on August 15 against Mexico in the Estadio Azteca.
DaMarcus Beasley's Puebla went into Friday's match in the Estadio Corona against Santos Laguna without a point and were 2-0 down within 15 minutes, with Herculez Gomez scoring the second for the Guerreros on a glancing header.
La Franja managed to recover, however, netting twice in the second half to earn a 2-2 draw against the champions. Beasley was efficient down the left and completed the full 90 minutes, while Gomez was hauled off after 70 minutes with the score at 2-1.
Also Friday, Michael Orozco Fiscal and his San Luis side picked up their first point of the campaign, tying the game against Morelia 3-3 – blowing a two-goal lead in the final six minutes.
Orozco Fiscal played the complete game again for San Luis at center back, but couldn't stop Morelia powering back to take the draw.
Club Tiguana's Edgar Castillo started like a man on a mission against Pumas UNAM on Friday, driving down the left wing with potency and even picked up a booking for a scuffle in the fifth minute.
Alongside him, Joe Corona was in the starting 11 for the third time this season and perhaps displayed his best performance yet in his team's 1-0 victory, coming off after 69 minutes.
Finally, Jonathan Bornstein was left on the bench for Tigres UANL in their 0-0 tie against Atlas in the Estadio Jalisco, while José Torres was suspended for Pachuca's 1-0 victory over Querétaro.
In the Ascenso MX, Sonny Guadarrama went 78 minutes in Mérida's 1-1 draw with Irapuato, alongside Isaac Acuña, who completed the full game.
Marco Vidal's good performance midweek for Lobos BUAP won him a starting place in Saturday's 2-2 tie against league leaders Dorados de Sinaloa.
That wasn't the case for Adrian Ruelas, who scored a goal on his debut in the Estadio Azteca for Veracruz in their 3-1 defeat to Club América in the Copa MX last Thursday, but didn't make the 18 for his team's game against La Piedad on Sunday.
In Chile, goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was named on the bench in Universidad Concepción's 1-1 draw against Colo Colo.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.