PREVIEW: WEEKEND MEXICAN ACTION
Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana travel to Mexico City to take on Club América and Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres face off against Pachuca in their Liga MX opener.
Club Tijuana - Club América
Tijuana opened their 2013-14 season with an exciting 3-3 draw with Atlas at home last week and will be looking to shore up their defense this weekend at América.
Garza played the full 90 minutes at left back and 19 year old Arriola made his professional debut with an assist on the Xolos' third goal. New signing Dario Benedetto was the talk of Liga MX with his debut hat-trick last weekend.
América, the reigning 2013 Clausura champions are entering the Apertura with high hopes once again. If they are to repeat, the Millionaires must do it without leading goal scorer Christian Benítez, who left the team to sign with Qatari club El Jaish earlier this month.
The matchup of last season's Apertura and Clausura winner's should be a good one, despite the Xolos having to do without Joe Corona or Edgar Castillo, who advanced with the US National Team to the Gold Cup Final. Additionally, they'll be without Herculez Gomez, who is out with a knee injury for several weeks.
After the Mexican National Team's unexpected loss to Panama in the Gold Cup semifinals, América will get back goalkeeper Moisés Muñóz, defender's Adrian Aldrete, Juan Carlos Valenzuela and Miguel Layún and forward Raul Jiménez. It remains unclear how much playing time the returning players will have on Saturday.
Tigres UANL - Pachuca
Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres travel to Pachuca to five time Liga MX champions on Sunday.
Tigres started off Copa Mexico play with a disappointing 1-0 loss to second division Cruz Azul Hidalgo on Wednesday night. Bornstein came off the bench in the 83rd minute in the losing effort.
Pachuca opened their 2013 Apertura season with a 1-0 over Toluca through an Othanial Arce strike and beat Lobos 1-0 in the Copa Mexico opener on Tuesday.
Tigres will do without Jose Torres, who is still on US National Team duty but will get defender Israel Jimenez back after Mexico was eliminated in the Gold Cup semi-finals.
Tigres claimed the first seed heading into the Clausura playoffs but were dispatched by Monterrey in the first round. Pachuca are looking to rebound after a frustrating spring season left them in 10th place with only 20 points in 17 matches.
Benji Joya, Daniel Cuevas and Santos Laguna open their league campaign against Cruz Azul. Neither American was included in the 18 in their 3-0 Cup win over Zacatepec on Tuesday.
Joaquin Hernández and Monterrey face Puebla at home on Saturday. Hernández was an unused substitute in Monterrey's 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul last week.
Ernest Nungaray and Morelia face Toluca at home.
Ventura Alvarado and Necaxa face Lobos on Friday. The on-loan Alvarado played 70 minutes in their 2-1 loss in Copa Mexico play to Chivas.
Adrián Ruelas and Veracruz visit Atlante on Saturday.