Gringo Report preview: Pachuca need win fast
Our American legion of futbolistas continue plying their trade south of the border during another busy weekend of action, where duels between Americans are once again on tap. So fire up that grill, grab a hold of some chips and salsa, sit back and tune in.
MEXICAN PRIMERA DIVISIÓN
[inline_node:327055]Estudiantes Tecos (4-6-0) vs. Tigres UANL (5-1-4)
Americans: Daniel Atúnez, Sammy Ochoa (EST); Jonathan Bornstein (TIG)
Friday, 10 pm ET, Galavisión
Estudiantes have been on hot form lately, stringing together two wins. They’ll be looking to use the momentum gained to keep thwarting Tigres, against whom they haven’t lost to in nine straight matches at home.
But if anyone’s on a roll, it’s Tigres. Their defense has allowed just one goal every two games and the team is currently staying strong in second place, their last loss handed to them in Week 4.
Of the three Americans on tap, Bornstein, who was just called by US coach Bob Bradley to face Argentina and Paraguay, has the best chance of featuring, but even he hasn’t seen regular action.
Chivas de Guadalajara (2-2-6) vs. Querétaro (3-5-2)
Americans: Miguel Ángel Ponce (CHI); Isaác Acuña (QUE)
Saturday, 9 pm ET, Telemundo
Although unlikely, Ponce could be making his return from injury in a key match for Chivas, who have fallen off pace in the race for a direct playoff spot and need to start winning if they’re to reach the postseason.
On the other side of the pitch will be a Querétaro team still fighting to remain in the top spot. As they’re unlikely leader, they’ll have Acuña, who had made only one appearance in the Mexican Primera before coming on as a sub five weeks ago. Since then, he’s scored three goals in four starts.
Pumas UNAM (7-0-3) vs. Pachuca (2-5-3)
Americans: José Torres, Hérculez Gómez (PAC)
Sunday, 2 pm ET, Telemundo
Pachuca’s ship is sinking, and it’s sinking fast. Los Tuzos are second-to-last in the league table and the water keeps rushing in. They need a win to help remedy the dire situation the club is going through, but to do that, they’ll have to overcome league-leading Pumas, who haven’t lost during the course of the tournament.
Torres looks set to take his usual spot in the middle of the pitch for Pachuca, while it’s likely that Gómez will repeat as a substitute against Pumas.
MEXICAN LIGA DE ASCENSO
[inline_node:327814]León (5-1-4) vs. Albinegros (3-3-4)
American: Marco Vidal (LEO)
Saturday, 10 pm ET, clubleon-fc.com
Vidal should take his usual spot anchoring the midfield as León look to retake the league lead. The Esmeraldas were defeated for the first time last week, causing them to fall to second place.
Mid-table team Albinegros boast one of the weakest offenses but one of the best defenses, so the real battle between the teams will take place on the visitors’ defensive end, which León’s league-leading offense will try to pry open.
Tijuana (4-1-5) vs. Pumas Morelos (4-5-1)
American: Joe Corona (TIJ)
Sunday, 2 pm ET
Tijuana got off to a rocky start in the Clausura 2011, but they’ve slowly picked up steam and now stand in fifth place, just four points from the league lead. As usual, Corona stands to be a key cog when last season’s champs host Pumas Morelos, who started the season scoring at a furious rate but have since fizzled into no more than just a threat.
Best of the rest:
Mexican Primera: Santos (Adrián Ruelas) vs. Morelia, Saturday, 9 pm ET, Galavisión
Mexican Primera: Atlante (Sonny Guadarrama) vs. Jaguares (Francisco López), Saturday, 11 pm ET, TeleFutura
Mexican Primera: Puebla (Édgar Castillo) vs. Necaxa, Sunday, 2 pm ET, TV Azteca
Liga de Ascenso: Indios (Joaquín Alonso) vs. Irapuato, Saturday, 9 pm ET