American Exports: Tijuana's USMNT hopefuls to meet Toluca in Liga MX playoffs
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Club Tijuana’s American players will have at least two extra club games to impress US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the World Cup.
Xolos are the only team regularly featuring American players to make the Liga MX Clausura 2014 playoffs, finishing seventh in the regular season, despite losing 2-1 at home to León on Friday. They will meet second-placed finishers Toluca over two legs in the quarterfinals, with the first leg scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday.
Midfielder Joe Corona and defender Edgar Castillo have both been getting regular playing time in recent weeks, and young forward Paul Arriola has been used sporadically. Veteran forward Herculez Gomez – who has fallen off the USMNT radar a bit after once serving as regular under Klinsmann's watch – has been left out of a couple of squads by coach César Farías this month.
On Sunday, neither DaMarcus Beasley nor Michael Orozco Fiscal featured for Puebla following their recent injury problems, as La Franja defeated Morelia 3-1 at home. Both are expected to be healthy, however, for Klinsmann's camp.
Neither they nor Tigres UANL’s Jose Torres will have any more matches to prove themselves before Klinsmann sends his provisional 30-player squad to FIFA on May 12.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.