GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Five Americans were involved on Tuesday for the return of Mexico's domestic cup competition after a 16-year absence.
Sonny Guadarrama was named Man of the Match in Mérida's scoreless draw in the Estadio Caliente against Club Tijuana, causing constant danger from his floating role in between the midfield and offense.
The Austin, Texas, native came close to tallying in the 47th minute when he drove from inside his own half to the edge of the Xolos penalty box, but flashed a shot just wide. He again almost broke the deadlock in the 60th, when his deflected shot was tipped over the bar by Tijuana goalkeeper Adrián Zermeño.
Alongside him, Calexico, Calif., native Isaac Acuña (above) was solid in attack, holding the ball up well and keeping possession for the Venados, before being brought off with an apparent cramp in the 73rd.
For Tijuana, Greg Garza was a highlight down the left hand side, darting forward at every opportunity in the first half before Alfredo González Tahuilán was sent off for Xolos in the 36th. After that, he tamed his forward runs, but didn't put a foot wrong in defensive all evening.
Youngster Alejandro Guido will have to wait for his debut, as he was left on the bench by Tijuana coach Antonio Mohamed.
One American passport-holder that did debut was Club Léon goalkeeper William Yarbrough, but he couldn't stop his team going down 2-1 to Cuauhtémoc Blanco's Dorados de Sinaloa. Yarbrough made key saves in the eighth and the 51sr minutes, but was beaten on the Dorados' second goal when Blanco took the ball past him before delivering the assist.
Finally, Marco Vidal debuted in Lobos BUAP's 3-1 away victory in the Estadio Nemesio Diez and played the full 90 minutes for his new team.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.