American Exports: USMNT fringe players hope to bolster Brazil 2014 chances in key Liga MX battles

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Club Tijuana’s Edgar Castillo was the only player from Liga MX to be called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad to face Ukraine next week. For the rest playing south of the border, work remains in the last remaining months before the World Cup to grab the German’s attention and force their way onto his final roster.

That challenge starts this weekend in Round 8 of matches in the Liga MX’s Clausura championship, with Xolos’ horde of Yanks at Veracruz on Saturday (6 pm ET, Univision Deportes).

Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona (pictured), Paul Arriola and Greg Garza have not been starting in recent weeks and will be hoping coach César Farías shakes things up after last Friday’s poor display against Chiapas.

In the same boat is Tigres UANL’s Jose Torres. The midfielder will be looking to start a Liga MX game for the first time this year when his team travels to Guadalajara to play Chivas on Sunday (6 pm ET, UniMas, Univision Deportes).

Puebla duo Michael Orozco and DaMarcus Beasley have been getting regular minutes and will look for more when La Franja host Querétaro on Sunday (1 pm ET, Azteca America).

On Friday, Jonathan Bornstein’s Atlante plays at Morelia (8:30 pm ET, Azteca America), while on Saturday Gabriel Farfan will be hoping to debut for Chiapas at home to reigning champions León (10 pm ET, Univision Deportes).

Also Saturday, Michael Farfan’s Cruz Azul host Toluca in a battle between the Liga MX’s top two (6 pm ET, Univision, ESPN).

In Mexico’s second division, Austin Guerrero’s Altamira play at league leaders Correcaminos on Friday (9:30 pm ET).

In Saturday games, Marco Vidal, Daniel Cuevas and Lobos BUAP are on the road against Ballenas Galeana (9 pm ET).

Finally, on Sunday, Jose Villarreal’s Cruz Azul Hidalgo play host to Sonny Guadarrama's and Ventura Alvarado’s Necaxa (1 pm ET).

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.