GUADALAJARA, Mexico – It was a mixed weekend of action for Yanks down south, but Herculez Gomez's fine form from last season shows no sign of letting up.
Gomez scored the winning goal for champions Santos Laguna against San Luis in their first game of the Liga MX on Saturday.
With the game knotted at 1-1 and with 20 minutes left on the clock, Gomez broke the offside trap, controlled a ball over the top and shot into the corner of the net with the outside of his right boot.
Gomez went close on a number of other occasions and looked sharp ahead of an important month for him personally, with Santos facing Real Madrid in the World Football Challenge in his hometown of Las Vegas on August 5, followed by the small matter of the United States facing Mexico in the Estadio Azteca 10 days later.
For San Luis, Michael Orozco Fiscal played the full game and put in a good performance at center back, but was beaten in the air from a corner that led to Santos' first goal.
On Sunday, José Torres went 78 minutes for Pachuca in their 0-0 tie with Atlante. He played an excellent through-ball to Spaniard Raúl Tamudo in the seventh minute, but was slightly quiet, despite being visibly vocal in demanding the ball from teammates.
Torres played higher up the field than normal, partly in order to counter the threat from Paraguay playmaker Osvaldo Martínez, which the scoreline indicates he did effectively.
On Friday evening in Club Tijuana's Estadio Caliente, three Americans started in Xolos' 2-0 victory over Puebla.
La Franja's DaMarcus Beasley was a surprise inclusion after he missed most the preseason through injury. It seemed like coach Daniel Bartolotta gave Beasley the license to roam, but the Fort Wayne, Ind., native's evening was brought to an end after just 21 minutes when he received an unintentional stamp to his right ankle from former teammate Duvier Riascos.
Puebla are waiting for results of tests to establish the seriousness of the injury and how long Beasley is likely to be out.
For Tijuana, Edgar Castillo picked up where he left off last season and was a threat down the left before being brought off after 61 minutes to make way for fellow Yank Greg Garza, who had a solid outing.
Joe Corona also got the nod to start the game and almost opened the scoring in the second minute, but his volley from inside the area sailed over the crossbar. Corona was brought off in the 56th minute.
Also Friday, Jonathan Bornstein came on for the last five minutes of Tigres UANL's 4-0 win away at Jaguares. It was the former Chivas USA man's first game in Mexico's first division in more than a year.
No American featured this week in Mexico's second division, but Diego Chavarri played 16 minutes in Cobresol's 2-0 loss to César Vallejo in Peru.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.