GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Through 10 games of Mexico’s Apertura 2011, only six points separate the top 15, and every team with an American-born player is involved in either a playoff push or a relegation battle. Simply put, it’s crunch time south of the border
In perhaps the most intriguing matchup, Michael Orozco Fiscal and DaMarcus Beasley – the only two Mexico-based players called in Thursday by US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann – will face each other.
If Orozco Fiscal retains his spot at right back for San Luis, he will likely be involved in a direct contest with the in-form Beasley on Puebla’s left wing, just days before the two meet up for US camp (Saturday, 9:45 pm ET, Galavisión).
Meanwhile, neither Edgar Castillo nor forward Isaac Acuña was involved last weekend for Club América in Alfredo Tena’s first match at the helm. Both will be hoping for at least a place on the bench when las Águilas take on Pumas UNAM in the big Mexico City clásico on Saturday (5 pm ET, Telemundo).
Herculez Gomez has scored two in two games for Estudiantes Tecos, who travel to face a Morelia side coming off the back of a last-gasp loss to the LA Galaxy in CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday. Monarcas host Gomez & Co. on Saturday (6 pm ET, Fox Deportes, Azteca America).
Los Angeles native Joe Corona and his Tijuana team will be looking for their second win of the season when they take on Jonathan Bornstein’s high-flying Tigres UANL on Saturday (3 pm ET, delayed on ESPN Deportes at 6 pm).
In other Saturday games, Sonny Guadarrama’s Atlante take on a José Francisco Torres-less Pachuca (10 pm ET, TeleFutura), while Miguel Ángel Ponce’s Guadalajara face Querétaro (8 pm ET, Telemundo). On Sunday, Marco Vidal’s Club León play La Piedad in the Liga de Ascenso (1:30 pm ET).
In Colombia, Diego Restrepo is likely to start on the bench for América de Cali when they play Huila (Saturday, 4 pm ET).
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.