GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Registration has been complete, work visas sorted out and former Philadelphia Union forward Freddy Adu could feature for the first time this weekend in Brazil.
His new team, Bahia, has six players out through injury and the American has been called into coach Joel Santana’s 18-man squad for Sunday’s away trip to Juazeirense in the Campeonato Baiano (3 pm ET).
Adu – who has already earned the nickname “Freddy Adivis” – told the Brazilian press last weekend that he had been keeping in shape and is ready to feature for the Tricolor de Aço.
Much further north in Mexico, Jose Torres will play against his old club Pachuca for the first time in his career on Saturday after leaving to sign for Tigres UANL (8 pm ET, UniMas). Torres is set to start the game in central midfield once again, with Tigres looking to end a run of five consecutive home ties and extend their two-point lead at the top of the Liga MX.
On Friday, Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna take on Monterrey in the first of three games over the next 12 days (10:30 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes). The two powers also meet in the two-leg final of the CONCACAF Champions League.
A win for Gomez’s Santos side – undefeated in eight league matches – guarantees a playoff place and would be a blow to eighth-placed Monterrey’s chances.
For Club Tijuana, a home win against Morelia on Saturday would propel them above their opponents and into the mix for a postseason spot (8 pm ET, Univision Deportes 2). However, Xolos and Americans Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza only have two points from their last six leagues games.
Over at Puebla, a minor miracle will be required to extend their season into the playoffs. Their postseason hopes seem improbable even if Sunday’s game at Atlante is entirely winnable (9 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco Fiscal’s team only has one win in eight games and has therefore slipped out of the reckoning. The club still needs one point to guarantee its place in the Liga MX next season.
In the Mexican second-tier Ascenso MX, Sonny Guadarrama’s Mérida host Altamira in the last round of matches. Mérida are already out of the playoff fight.
That isn’t the case for Marco Vidal’s Lobos BUAP, who are already in the postseason and could finish top of the league if they win on Sunday against Toros Neza (1 pm ET).
In Costa Rica, Moises Hernandez and Saprissa continue their playoff charge on Sunday against Pérez Zeledón (7 pm ET), while in El Salvador, it’s a big weekend for goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, whose Santa Tecla are in the playoff places with three games to go and travel to Alianza on Sunday (5:15 pm ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.