GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Before heading to Phoenix for US national team duty ahead of next Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico (11 pm ET, ESPN, UniMas), Puebla duo DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco have the small matter of Liga MX champions León on their minds.
La Franja host Rafa Márquez & Co. on Sunday (2 pm ET, Azteca America) at Estadio Cuauhtémoc and are in a desperate scramble for points as the Liga MX Clausura regular season draws to a close, with Puebla now in the relegation race.
Beasley’s side starts Round 12 of matches in the 17-game season just four points above last-place Atlante in the relegation table.
Jonathan Bornstein’s Atlante will be hoping to ratchet up the pressure even more when they travel to struggling Monterrey on Saturday (9 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
Kicking off the week’s Liga MX fixtures is Club Tijuana away at crisis-ridden Querétaro (9:30 pm ET, Azteca America).
Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Edgar Castillo all missed out on a US call-up, with Xolos set to play the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal first leg against Cruz Azul one day before the international friendly, and are available as Tijuana continue their playoff charge.
On Saturday, Cruz Azul’s Michael Farfan will be hoping for minutes when his team hosts Atlas (7 pm ET, Univision), while his brother Gabriel Farfan’s Chiapas are at home to Morelia (11 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
In Mexico’s second division, Marco Vidal's and Daniel Cuevas’ Lobos BUAP are just outside the playoffs at present and will look for points at Alebrijes de Oaxaca (Saturday, 7 pm ET).
Necaxa – with Americans Sonny Guadarrama and Ventura Alvarado – can take an important step to securing a playoff spot at Delfines del Carmen (Saturday, 9 pm ET).
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.