American Exports: Club Tijuana's Yanks seek elusive road win in order to cement playoff status
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – There is still a real possibility that the Liga MX Clausura 2014 playoffs may not have any American presence, unless results go the right way over the last two rounds of matches.
Of the American regulars, only Tijuana’s band – Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona (above), Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Edgar Castillo – is currently hanging onto a playoff place in seventh in the Liga MX.
Xolos face a long trip to Jonathan Bornstein’s already-relegated Atlante on Sunday (6 pm ET, Univision Deportes), knowing that a first road victory in the league since January 2013 would be a big boost, with only seven points separating third from 16th in the table.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that in first place and already qualified for the postseason is Cruz Azul, for whom Michael Farfan debuted and scored last weekend. The San Diego native could be in line for more playing time against Morelia on Friday (8:30 pm ET, Azteca America), with La Máquina involved in the CONCACAF Champions League final second leg at Toluca next week.
Jose Torres is back from suspension for Tigres UANL as they travel Saturday to Copa Libertadores participants León, who are likely to play a reserve side that could feature midfielder Dennis Flores (9 pm ET, Telemundo).
The team from Monterrey needs points to keep its playoff hopes alive – it is currently three points off eighth-place Chivas.
Gabriel Farfan’s Chiapas – who still have an outside shot at the playoffs despite being in 15th place – are at Santos Laguna on Saturday (8 pm ET Univision Deportes), while DaMarcus Beasley is set to feature for last-place Puebla on the road against Pachuca (8 pm ET, Univision Deportes 2).
Michael Orozco Fiscal remains out injured for La Franja.
It is a big weekend for Necaxa duo Sonny Guadarrama and Ventura Alvarado, with Los Rayos tied at 2-2 heading into Saturday’s playoff quarterfinal second leg in Aguascalientes against Delfines del Carmen (9 pm ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.