CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Saturday, January 7, 2012
The 2012 edition of Mexico's Clausura is underway this weekend, with several Americans looking to continue their progress from last season or rediscover lost magic.
Santos Laguna - Pachuca
The headline game is Herculez Gomez's new team and title contenders Santos Laguna taking on other contenders, and Gomez's former team, Pachuca.
Gomez hit a nice free kick goal in a pre-season game against Dorados de Sinaloa in the run up to the season opener, and indications could be that he is carrying enough momentum to get some playing time in the opener.
Also hoping to earn some playing time is fellow American Jose Francisco Torres, who has returned from foot surgery and is looking to get back in Pachuca's lineup, as well as the U.S. National Team's.
After missing most of the 2011 Apertura and the winter playoffs, Torres should be chomping at the bit.
San Luis - Pumas
Michael Orozco and San Luis will take on Pumas in their opener, as Orozco tries to keep San Luis' defense intact.
Despite being one of the stingiest teams in Mexico for the Apertura, their season was disappointing as they finished towards the bottom of the standings.
Puebla - Atlas
DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla take on Atlas, for a Sunday opener.
Beasley's move to Puebla last season revived a stagnant career and continued success in the Clausura could see him once again return as a dominant fixture on the National Team.
Fittingly, Beasley began his revival against Atlas in the 2011 Apertura. While there was initial hope of an Eddie Johnson sighting at this game, Puebla's move for the lost forward fell through after a poor fitness test.
Jonathan Bornstein is not expected to play as Tigres take on Cruz Azul.
Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, and Greg Garza all featured for Tijuana in a 1-1 tie with Morelia on Friday evening in the curtain raiser for the 2012 Clausura.