Our American legion of futbolistas continue plying their trade south of the border during another busy weekend of action. Duels between Americans highlight Week 9 in the Mexican Apertura, so fire up that grill, grab a hold of some chips and salsa, sit back and tune in.
MEXICAN PRIMERA DIVISIÓN
Estudiantes Tecos (2-6-0) vs. Pachuca (2-3-3)
Americans: Samuel Ochoa, Daniel Atúnez (EST); Hérculez Gómez, José Torres (PAC)
Friday, 9 pm ET, Galavisión
[inline_node:322313]They may be two of the worst teams in the Mexican Apertura kicking off the weekend fixture list, but there's a lot at stake when last-place Estudiantes host 14th-place Pachuca.
The Owls got off to a decent start in the campaign, but have lost four straight matches. To make matters worse, they’ll be missing Atúnez and three other players to suspensions and injuries. However, a win could put Estudiantes back into contention in a very tight Group 1.
As for los Tuzos, their offense continues to wane. However, just like their opponents, a win could be huge in a close Group 2. Gómez was sent back to the bench last week while Torres, who has regained control of a starting spot, should line up in midfield.
Chivas de Guadalajara (2-2-4) vs. Tigres UANL (5-1-2)
Americans: Miguel Ángel Ponce (CHI); Jonathan Bornstein (TIG)
Saturday, 8 pm ET, Telemundo
The top two teams in Group 1 face off as Tigres visit Chivas’ new home for the very first time. El Rebaño Sagrado are coming off a surprise defeat vs. Jaguares, so a classic six-point swing is crucial for Chivas if they want to keep hold of the playoff spot. Ponce, who suffered an injury in Week 3, has yet to return.
Tigres, first in their group and second in the league table, are steamrolling their opponents and have won four of the last five without giving up a goal. A win against Chivas could make the felines the overall leaders. Bornstein has missed the last two games, so a start on Saturday is a toss-up.
Atlante (3-4-1) vs. Pumas UNAM (5-0-3)
Americans: Sonny Guadarrama (ATL)
Saturday, 10 pm ET, TeleFutura
Atlante, unbeaten at home in the Apertura, will look to keep it that way when they receive the league leaders Pumas, who remain unbeaten in the tournament. The felines have the best offense, but los Potros have yet to concede in their home turf. Guadarrama has seen consistent time off the bench this season and should continue his role as a second-half sub.
MEXICAN LIGA DE ASCENSO
[inline_node:327814]León (4-0-4) vs. Mérida (1-2-4)
American: Marco Vidal (LEO)
Saturday, 9 pm ET, clubleon-fc.com
Still unbeaten in tournament competition, León will be looking for a win to reclaim the top spot in the general table as they continue their quest to return to the top flight. Mérida shouldn’t prove too much of a threat, but they’ve been able to hold most of their opponents to a draw. Vidal should again slot in central midfield for the Panzas Verdes.
Best of the Rest:
Mexican Primera: Monterrey vs. Querétaro (Isaác Acuña), Saturday, 6 pm ET, Telemundo
Mexican Primera: San Luis vs. Jaguares (Francisco López), Saturday, 10 pm ET, Galavisión
Liga de Ascenso: Indios de Ciudad Juárez (Joaquín Alonso) vs. Cruz Azul Hidalgo, Saturday, 8 pm ET
Mexican Primera: Puebla (Edgar Castillo) vs. Atlas, Sunday, 1 pm ET, ESPN Deportes
Liga de Ascenso: Tijuana (Joe Corona) vs. Correcaminos, Sunday, 4 pm ET