PREVIEW: WEEKEND MEXICAN ACTION
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Friday, August 31, 2012
Joe Corona and Tijuana look to grab a piece of first place, and a clash of faltering titans will take place in Torreon in week seven of the Apertura.

Tijuana - Jaguares

Edgar Castillo is out injured until mid-September, but Joe Corona will remain steady in the Xolos lineup as they make their bid for the top spot in the standings. To get there, they will have to beat visiting Chiapas and hope for a Toluca loss, a tough ask for one of the three remaining undefeated teams in Mexico.

Greg Garza has been sporadic on the bench this season, mostly appearing in Copa MX games. The injury of Castillo may work in Garza's favor, and the reserve defender could dress on Friday.

Jaguares are currently sitting near the bottom of the standings with four points to show from six games, while allowing a league worst 14 goals. Tijuana sits in the middle of the standings for goals scored and conceded, but it is worth noting that of their seven goals against, four of them came in one game.

Tijuana currently sits second in the standings, three points behind Toluca and one ahead of Morelia and Cruz Azul. With a third of the season under their belt, the Xolos are looking strong so far for a high finish in November.

Aside from Edgar Castillo, both teams will have all players available for selection.

Santos - Tigres

Herculez Gomez will try to work himself back onto the field Saturday against Tigres, while Jonathan Bornstein remains unlikely to dress.

The typical slow start for Santos Laguna has turned into a concerning slump as the reigning champions find themselves eight points out of the lead after six games. While part of the attacking corps was gutted during the Olympics with Oribe Peralta claiming a gold medal, the slump has continued since his return.

The Saints will host rival favorites Tigres in a must-win game for both teams. It has all the makings of a classic game, should either team be able to get out of its own way to earn a result. Tigres currently sit one point ahead of Santos, and seven out of first place after being picked by many to win the Apertura.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

Pachuca - Cruz Azul

Jose Torres is expected to remain in the lineup for hapless Pachuca, as their continue their struggle to find the back of the net. Visiting Cruz Azul, one of the three remaining undefeated teams in Mexico, will not be an easy task and it seems unlikely to expect a reversal of fortunes.

Pachuca have scored a league low three goals in six games, and though they have only six points on the season, there's plenty of time for a turn around. Sitting only three points out of the final playoff position, a run can easily be mounted to climb the standings. However, the offense must begin to work in order for this to happen.

Cruz Azul has the stingiest defense in the league so far, having allowed only two goals. Despite this impressive stat, along with being undefeated, they sit four points out of first place and have the fewest goals out of the top 12 teams.

The game looks on paper to be a dull affair, but approaching the halfway point of the season should begin to light a fire under the seat of many teams in the league, and both Pachuca and Cruz Azul are among them.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

San Luis - Leon

Michael Orozco will, barring a surprise move, be in the starting lineup once again for San Luis as they attempt to win their first league game since March.

San Luis plays host to Leon, who have had a reality check in recent weeks after starting the season on a tear. Leon will look to get back on the title track with a convincing victory over San Luis, who are currently sitting on one win in their past two dozen league games.

Orozco's heads up performance against Mexico surely worked his way into Jurgen Klinsmann's favor, but he will still need a strong performance against Leon to secure his place in the roster against Jamaica.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

Chivas - Puebla

DaMarcus Beasley should see plenty of action against Chivas in a game pitting two poor teams against each other in a bid to climb out of the gutter.

Chivas, widely expected to rebound this season, have continued to disappoint, taking only five points from their six games. Puebla has continued on as expected, with four points to show for their six games played.

A win from either team could see them jump significantly in the standings, but weak results in recent weeks don't build much anticipation of a victory for either squad.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

Notes:

Marco Vidal may see time for Lobos BUAP as they play Cruz Azul Hidalgo in second division action.

Ventura Alvarado is not expected to dress for Club America as they visit league leading Toluca.
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