American Exports: Tijuana Yanks set for crucial stretch involving CCL, Liga MX playoff survival
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – It is getting to the business end of the Clausura 2014 championship and Club Tijuana’s Yanks are attempting to keep both their Liga MX title and CONCACAF Champions League aspirations alive in upcoming weeks.
That starts on Friday against Toluca in the Liga MX (10:30 pm ET, ESPN Deportes) at Estadio Caliente, with Herculez Gomez, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Alejandro Guido all potential starters after missing out on César Farías’ starting XI in Xolos' 1-0 win over Cruz Azul their CCL quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday.
Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona did play from the beginning in that game and may be rested for next Wednesday’s return leg against Cruz Azul, at least if Farías’ previous team selections are anything to go by.
Xolos currently sit one place off the playoffs in ninth position in the Liga MX, but with just six points separating third from 16th, the race is very open with four rounds of matches of the regular season left.
On Saturday, Puebla duo Michael Orozco and DaMarcus Beasley – who were controversially not released for the US national team's midweek friendly vs. Mexico – have a crucial relegation game against Atlas at Estadio Tres de Marzo (11 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
La Franja start the match five points ahead of Atlante in the relegation table and two points behind Atlas.
In Sunday Liga MX games, Gabriel Farfan’s Chiapas are at Pumas UNAM (1 pm ET, Univision), while Jonathan Bornstein’s Atlante host Jose Torres’ Tigres UANL in Cancún (6 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
In the second division, Marco Vidal's and Daniel Cuevas’ Lobos BUAP host Austin Guerrero’s Altamira on Friday (7 pm ET), with Sonny Guadarrama and Ventura Alvarado both likely to be involved when Necaxa face Leones Negros in Aguascalientes (Sat, 10 pm ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him firstname.lastname@example.org.