American Exports: Alejandro Guido, Paul Arriola star, but Club Tijuana fall to Cruz Azul amid CCL legs
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – US youth international Alejandro Guido started his first Liga MX game for Club Tijuana in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Cruz Azul, as coach César Farías rested key players ahead of Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg against the LA Galaxy (10 pm ET, Fox Sports 2).
Guido played a through ball to Paul Arriola (above) for Club Tijuana’s first goal, with Arriola sending in a low cross from the left, which found its way to Richard Ruiz, who stroked the ball into the net on the stroke of halftime.
The 19-year-old Guido played in central midfield on his full Liga MX debut, while Arriola swapped wings regularly, with both going the full 90 minutes. Arriola won the ball in the area and had a good chance to level in the 81st, but he pushed his effort wide of the far post.
Striker Herculez Gomez – who made veiled comments at Farías for leaving him on the bench in Tijuana's 1-0 loss to the Galaxy last Wednesday – went 63 minutes for Tijuana and battled past Luis Perea to create a chance for himself in the 33rd, but he lost balance and ‘keeper Jesús Corona was able to save. Fellow US international Edgar Castillo, who was left on the bench for that CCL game, went the full 90.
The final American involvement came in the form of 17-year-old Fernando Arce Jr., who is the son of Mexico international Fernando Arce, and was born in San Diego.
The result saw Tijuana drop out of the playoff places by the end of the 11th round of matches in the Clausura 2014.
There was no relief on Sunday for DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla from the troubles enveloping the club, with La Franja losing 1-0 at home to Jose Torres and Tigres UANL. With players protesting this week at lack of payments, Orozco and Beasley both went 90 minutes in a game of few chances.
Center back Orozco got on the end of a cross from left wing back Beasley in the 61st, but it was a little too high for him to head on target. The former Philadelphia Union defender saw another headed effort go just over the bar in the 76th.
For Tigres, Torres started his second consecutive Liga MX game, but featured in left midfield and wasn’t on the ball as much as usual. The 26-year-old did put in a good cross for Danilho in the 29th and was generally tidy in possession.
The result means Tigres are just one point off the playoff positions, while Puebla are down in 15th, five points off the playoffs after eleven rounds of games in the Clausura.
On Saturday, Gabriel Farfan started and went 68 minutes on the right flank for Chiapas in their 2-2 home draw against his former team, Club América.
In Mexico’s second division, Ventura Alvarado went the full 90 for Necaxa in their 0-0 tie at Ballenas Galeana on Saturday, with Sonny Guadarrama coming on for Los Rayos for the last 24 minutes.
On Sunday, Marco Vidal completed the game in Lobos BUAP’s 2-0 loss at Delfines del Carmen.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.