Herculez Gomez celebrates a goal for Santos Laguna.

American Exports preview: Gomez, Santos visit Cruz Azul

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – It’s a hectic weekend for Americans making their way in Latin America, with some big games scheduled.

Fresh from halting the Seattle Sounders’ hopes of CONCACAF Champions League glory, Herculez Gomez and Mexican league leaders Santos Laguna face a tough trip to Mexico City on Saturday to play former Sporting KC forward Omar Bravo and Cruz Azul in Mexican Primera División action (9 pm ET, Azteca America).

José Francisco Torres’ Pachuca, meanwhile, are four games without a win and will look to reverse the slump against Sonny Guadarrama’s Atlante (Saturday, 9 pm ET TeleFutura) in the Estadio Hidalgo.

Club Tijuana have passed most tests so far this season, but Saturday’s game away against Jonathan Bornstein’s Tigres UANL is perhaps their biggest yet.

Joe Corona will miss the game due his participation with the US Under-23s, but Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza are in line for playing time (9 pm ET, Galavision).

On Sunday, DaMarcus Beasley’s Puebla and Michael Orozco Fiscal’s San Luis are both in desperate need of three points when the two meet, with the Yank duo likely to start the game in the Estadio Cuauhtémoc (2 pm ET, ESPN Deportes, Azteca America). Both teams have eight points from 10 matches and sit seven points behind the playoffs.

In Guatemala, MLS’ all-time leading scorer Jeff Cunningham is in a battle to be ready for second-place Communicaciones’ game against first-place Marquense on Sunday (6 pm ET).

Cunningham left the training pitch on Wednesday with a knock to his right knee, but is expected to be ready for the crucial game, with las Cremas just one point behind Marquense 13 games into the season.

In Mexico’s second division, Isaac Acuña’s Club Mérida face Cruz Azul Hidalgo (Saturday, 9 pm ET), Marco Vidal’s Club León play Celaya FC (Saturday, 10 pm ET) and Jesús Padilla’s Irapuato travel to Neza (Sunday, 2 pm ET).

Further south, Alejandro Meleán’s Oriente Petrolero take on San José in Bolivia’s top flight (Sunday, 3:30 pm ET) while James Maurer’s Universidad de Concepción go up against La Serena in Chile (Saturday, 11:30 am ET).

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.

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