American Exports: Torres, Pachuca bow out of playoff race
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – With the Liga MX regular season winding to a close, it proved a mixed weekend for Americans plying their trade south of the border.
José Torres' Pachuca were outplayed on a dismal Saturday afternoon for Los Tuzos, who lost 4-0 to Club América in the Estadio Azteca.
Torres completed the full game in central midfield and went close with a long range shot in the 51st, but his team was second best all game and Hugo Sánchez´s side is now out of the playoff race with one game remaining in the regular season.
Herculez Gomez and his Santos Laguna team, the reigning Mexican champions, are still in the playoff hunt after their 2-1 comeback victory over Cruz Azul on Friday. Gomez went 83 minutes for the Guerreros, playing in his favored center forward position. He didn't get on the scoresheet, but looked sharp and created problems for the Cruz Azul defense.
In Tijuana, the league leaders could only manage a 0-0 tie against a San Luis team that again left Michael Orozco Fiscal out of its squad.
Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza both started the game for the Xolos, with Castillo playing a more advanced role on the left wing and Garza at left back.
That changed when Garza was subbed out for Joe Corona at halftime, with Castillo dropping back – although still spending most the half in opposition territory – and Corona playing down the left further forward.
Puebla salvaged a point away against Atlas on Sunday, with DaMarcus Beasley coming off in the 69th minute with a groin strain after a relatively quiet game.
Sonny Guadarrama started again for Atlante, going 45 minutes in their 3-2 home loss to León on Sunday.
Down in Mexico's second division, Marco Vidal and his Lobos BUAP side lost 3-1 at home on Friday against Toros Neza, with Vidal playing 81 minutes.
In El Salvador on Saturday, Derby Carrillo kept a clean sheet in Santa Tecla's 1-0 win over Juventud Independiente.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.