GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Americans playing in Mexico have reason to get a little better reception than usual this weekend after the US national team did El Tri a huge favor on Tuesday, but the focus will be on winning crucial points as the playoff race heats up in the Liga MX.
Club Tijuana’s Edgar Castillo, Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Joe Corona are all in the reckoning of coach Jorge Almirón as Xolos face the tough trip to the highest Liga MX stadium in the land to face third-place Toluca (Sunday, 1 pm ET, Univision).
Tijuana are three points off a playoff spot and, with only four games left in the regular season, picking up points is a necessity.
Playing at the same time are DaMarcus Beasley's and Michael Orozco Fiscal’s Puebla in what really is a must-win game at Estadio Cuauhtémoc against winless Atlas (1 pm ET, ESPN Deportes). La Franja are one point behind Xolos, but have by far the easier game of the two this weekend.
Trailing Puebla by a point are Jose Torres and Tigres UANL, who are in action on Saturday evening at Estadio Universitario against Atlante (8 pm ET, Univision Deportes, ESPN Deportes).
In Mexico’s second division, Sonny Guadarrama and Necaxa face Correcaminos on Saturday (9:30 pm ET), while Marco Vidal’s Lobos BUAP travel to Universidad de Guadalajara (9:30 pm ET) the same night. Former Chivas USA forward Jesus Padilla and his Dorados side host Estudiantes Tecos (Saturday, 9 pm ET).
Down in Costa Rica, Moises Hernandez’s second-place Saprissa take on Limón on Sunday (1 pm ET), while, in Honduras, Kevin Hoyos and Victoria host Real España (9 pm ET).
Finally, in Brazil, Freddy Adu’s quest for playing time will continue when Bahia host São Paulo on Sunday (2 pm ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com.