Gringo Report preview: Pachuca starved for points
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
Pachuca (2-4-3) vs. Atlante (3-5-1)
Americans: José Torres, Hérculez Gómez (PAC); Sonny Guadarrama (ATL)
Saturday, 8 pm ET, TeleFutura
for points and in search of a solution to their win drought, Pachuca
decided to bring in new manager Efraín Flores to right the ship. Wins
have also been hard to come by for Atlante, which is why this classic
six-point swing match between Group 2 rivals will be critical for each
team’s playoff hopes.
Flores, a former Chivas and interim Mexico coach, was brought in to stir things up, which could bode well for Gómez, who could perhaps be bumped up from a substitute role to starter. Torres, on the other hand, has gone five full shifts since his return and, as a creative midfielder, should keep reprising his role.
Like Gómez, Guadarrama has seen consistent time as a subsitute for Atlante, and should find himself in the bench at the start of this match.
[inline_node:329987]Querétaro (2-5-2) vs. Puebla (3-5-1)
Americans: Isaác Acuña (QUE); Edgar Castillo (PUE)
Saturday, 6 pm ET, TeleFutura
Bringing up the rear of the league table and currently in the danger zone for relegation, Querétaro will be looking for a win that could jump start an unlikely yet possible run to the playoffs. Fellow Group 3 rival, Puebla, however, will be looking to do the same.
Ever since coming on as a second-half sub on Feb. 12 for los Gallos Blancos, Acuña has made three straight starts in midfield and has accounted for two of his team’s three goals since.
Over on the other side, left back Castillo hasn’t seen any significant minutes since La Franja’s loss to Pumas UNAM in Week 5.
Tigres UANL (5-1-3) vs. San Luis (3-2-5)
American: Jonathan Bornstein (TIG)
Saturday, 8 pm ET, Telemundo
Currently just three points from the league lead, Tigres are perhaps the surprise of the tournament, dropping only one match in nine games thus far. Led by an unbeatable defense – the felines have shut out their last five opponents and have allowed just four goals all season – Tigres will hope their dormant offense finds a spark against San Luis’ own stingy back line.
Bornstein has been present in four of his team’s five victories, but hasn’t seen any match action since going 46 minutes in a Week 6 win over Cruz Azul.
MEXICAN LIGA DE ASCENSO
[inline_node:327814]Durango (2-6-1) vs. León (5-0-4)
American: Marco Vidal (LEO)
Saturday, 8 pm ET
League-leading León continue their quest to return to the top flight in Mexico when they take on lowly Durango, who find themselves second to last in the table.
Vidal missed the last match, but should see himself back in the starting XI for León, whose tough defense and strong offense should have no problem disposing of a weaker opponent.
Best of the Rest:
Mexican Primera: Jaguares (Francisco López) vs. Estudiantes Tecos (Daniel Atúnez, Sammy Ochoa), Saturday, 6 pm ET, ESPN Deportes
Liga de Ascenso: Pumas Morelos vs. Indios (Joaquín Alonso), Saturday, 5 pm ET
Mexican Primera: Toluca vs. Santos (Adrián Ruelas), Sunday, 2 pm ET, Telemundo
Liga de Ascenso: Cruz Azul Hidalgo vs. Tijuana (Joe Corona), Sunday, 2 pm ET