American Exports: Joya earns first pro start for Santos
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Midweek fixtures in Liga MX brought action for a handful of Americans based in Mexico.
Jose Torres was back in Pachuca’s starting 11 and went 90 minutes in his team’s 2-0 loss to Puebla in the Estadio Cuauhtémoc. Torres provided good service to Pachuca’s wasteful strikers and went close himself with a free kick that scraped the post five minutes from the end of the first half. In the 63rd, he was booked for a late tackle.
On the opposing side, DaMarcus Beasley missed out with an injury to his ribs, but is in the frame for a return at the weekend.
For Santos Laguna’s Benji Joya (pictured above, bottom row, third from right) was another special occasion, with the winger getting the first start of his professional career in the Guerreros’ 2-1 victory over Atlas.
US U-20 international Joya was taken off at halftime with the score already 2-1, but current US national teamer Herculez Gomez again watched the game from the bench.
Edgar Castillo took his usual starting role for Club Tijuana in their respectable 1-1 tie at Monterrey, while Joe Corona also started alongside him.
Castillo tried to surprise Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco with a shot in the 53rd minute, but his long-distance effort went over the bar.
In a game that was billed as one to test the resolve of high-flying Tjuana, Corona logged 54 minutes before being substituted for the eighth time in his nine starts this season.
On Tuesday, Michael Orozco Fiscal was an unused sub in San Luis’ 2-1 loss to Club América, as was Jesús Padilla in Chivas’ 2-1 win over Tigres.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.