GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Liga MX may be on hold while Mexico’s national team negotiates the World Cup playoff against New Zealand, but there were plenty of Americans involved for Mexican Under-20 sides this weekend.
Paul Arriola set up Club Tijuana’s first in the 30th minute and Stevie Rodriguez got Xolos’ second in the 62nd as the border team’s U-20s overcame Chiapas 2-1 on Sunday in the playoff quarterfinals. Arriola came off in the 66th with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, and Alejandro Guido came on for the last 22 minutes in front of a good crowd at Estadio Caliente.
Tijuana will face Club Leon in the semifinals.
Elsewhere, Benji Joya came off the bench in the 58th as Santos Laguna’s U-20s overcame Monterrey 3-1 on Saturday to set up a semifinal against Chivas.
The Guadalajara club was in action Sunday, drawing 2-2 at Estadio Omnilife with Pumas UNAM, for whom Bernie Magaña went the full 90 minutes in goal.
In Mexico’s second-division playoffs, there will be American involvement in the semifinals after Necaxa waltzed past San Luis 2-0 on Saturday. Sonny Guadarrama played 62 minutes for Los Rayos.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.