GUADALAJARA, Mexico – It was a bad weekend for the few American-born players in Mexico’s playoffs, with Miguel Ángel Ponce’s Guadalajara losing and José Francisco Torres’ Pachuca falling at home.
Sacramento-born Ponce played the full 90 for Chivas against Querétaro, but it wasn’t an entirely happy evening. Chivas, many people’s favorites for the title, fell behind 2-0 to the Gallos Blancos before a last-gasp goal brought the Guadalajara team right back into proceedings at 2-1 to set up a tense second leg.
Television shots showed injured Torres nervously watching Pachuca's quarterfinal game against Tigres UANL from the sidelines, but it was a poor afternoon for the Tuzos, ending in a 1-0 defeat. The result means Pachuca have to beat Tigres by two goals in the return leg next weekend to advance. Torres has an outside chance of returning for the game following two months on the sideline with a foot injury.
Gold Cup finalist Jonathan Bornstein may well be the only American to make the semifinals, although he is yet to feature for the Tigres first team this season and has told MLSsoccer.com that a move in the offseason is likely.
Down in Colombia, Diego Restrepo was on the bench for América de Cali's 2-0 loss to Millonarios.
In Peru, Diego Chavarri is still recovering from injury, but he could be available next weekend.
Tom Marshall can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org