American Exports: Torres wins it for Pachuca, Xolos go top
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – There were some vital wins for Americans playing in Latin America this weekend, not least for Club Tijuana, who took top spot in the Liga MX.
Edgar Castillo returned for the Xolos after missing the last US national team camp through injury, but Joe Corona dropped to the bench, coming on after 65 minutes in a 2-1 away victory against Atlante on Sunday. It was the first time Corona wasn't picked in the starting 11 for Tijuana in league play this season.
Castillo was competent on the left flank and has returned with the same confidence that saw him named in the team of the week in a number of Mexican publications last time he played, back on Aug. 25 against Club América.
Greg Garza was an unused substitute for Tijuana.
While José Torres' role in the US men's national team has been the subject of much debate, his club form continues to be good. The 24-year-old was one of the highlights of Pachuca's first home win in league play under Hugo Sánchez – a 3-2 victory against Morelia on Friday – putting in a busy central midfield performance and capping it off by scoring his first goal in the Liga MX since February 2010.
Torres whipped in a left-footed freekick in from the right wing in the 57th minute that beat everyone and found the far corner of the net to put the Tuzos 3-1 up.
Jesús Padilla was part of Chivas' comeback victory against Club León on Friday night. The forward came on in the 69th and helped his team overturn a 1-0 deficit in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Things weren't so sweet for DaMarcus Beasley's Puebla. Beasley went 90 minutes for his team, who fell 3-2 against Monterrey on Sunday. The Camoteros sit in 17th position in the Liga MX, with five points from eight games.
US international striker Herculez Gomez and his Santos Laguna side fared no better. Club América downed the Guerreros 2-0 on Saturday in the Estadio Azteca, with Gomez coming off the bench in the 67th, when the score was 1-0.
Gomez's US teammate Michael Orozco Fiscal suited up for San Luis for their 1-0 victory away at Pumas UNAM, but he didn't get on the field.
Mérida's American duo Sonny Guadarrama and Isaac Acuña both scored in the club's 3-1 victory against Correcaminos on Saturday in Mexico's second division.
Marco Vidal was also in action and went 82 minutes for Lobos BUAP in their 3-1 defeat against Estudiantes Tecos.
In South America, Alejandro Meleán was on the scoresheet for Oriente Petrolero on Sunday, but his team fell 4-1 to Bolívar.
Finally, in Central America, Derby Carrillo played the full 90 minutes for Santa Tecla against FAS in El Salvador's top division. The teams drew 2-2.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.