GUADALAJARA, Mexico – It was a busy Wednesday night for young Americans playing in the second round of this year’s Copa MX, but it was a veteran campaigner who really stole the limelight.
DaMarcus Beasley (above right) took just one minute to make an impact for Puebla in their 4-1 win at Celaya, angling a perfect pass that Matias Alustiza converted to open the scoring.
Beasley went the full 90 in his rejuvenated team’s victory, which took the Poblanos to the top of Group 4 on seven points from the two matches (the winner of the home-and-home series gets an extra point). Michael Orozco Fiscal didn’t feature for Puebla.
In Group 5, Jesus Padilla went an hour for La Piedad in their 2-1 loss at San Luis, while Texan midfielder Marco Vidal played the full game in Lobos BUAP’s 2-0 home loss to a strong Cruz Azul side in Group 3. Both now face an uphill struggle to make the next round with zero points from their two matches.
Californian forward Adrian Ruelas came on at halftime for Veracruz and was on the field when a goal in the 68th handed his team a 2-1 victory over Morelia to keep the Tiburones Rojos very much alive in Group 2 on 5 points.
Sonny Guadarrama’s Mérida, meanwhile, managed a 1-0 victory at home over Pumas UNAM last week, but capitulated in the away leg in Mexico City on Wednesday, falling 5-0.
In Tuesday’s Group 1 games, Ventura Alvarado again started for Club América, going the full 90 minutes in the in-form Águilas’ 3-1 victory over Altamira. The 20-year-old defender again won plaudits and could be in line for a potential first-team slot in the league next season, with Diego Reyes making the move to Porto.
In the same group, Ernest Nungaray featured for Morelia’s sister club Toros Neza, playing 54 minutes in their 1-0 home loss to Necaxa.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.