Friday, April 25, 2008

Sangre americana J16

The American contingent in Mexico heads down to the final weeks of the regular season. With two weeks left, all of the four top-flight players have a chance of reaching the Mexican league playoffs, or Liguilla.

Michael Orozco, San Luis vs. Atlas, Saturday 3 p.m. PT: Orozco's San Luis side is on the verge of claiming the top spot in the overall league table and the number one seed in the Mexican league playoffs. With two matches left in the regular season, San Luis is even with Chivas at 29 points atop both the league standings and the Group 3 table. Orozco has started four consecutive matches since returning from the Olympic qualifying tournament. Atlas will leave some of its big guns at home, such as Bruno Marioni, as the Guadalajara club focuses on Copa Libertadores, which might make Orozco's task of dealing with the Atlas attack less challenging than it could be. TV: Galavision.

Jose Francisco Torres, Pachuca vs. Jaguares, Saturday 5 p.m. PT: There is no reason to believe Torres won't see time against Jaguares unless Pachuca coach Enrique "Ojitos" Meza wants to rest Torres for international play. Torres was suspended a week ago and did not play in Pachuca's 5-2 loss to Puebla but the Texas native started and played 62 minutes in Wednesday's match against Saprissa in Costa Rica. Pachuca will host Saprissa in the second and decisive leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Wednesday as Torres could play his third match in eight days. Against Jaguares, Torres should start as he did midweek and should make his sixth start in seven league games, a streak only interrupted by his red card against Monterrey. TV: Azteca America.

Edgar Castillo, Santos at Tigres, Saturday 5 p.m. PT: Castillo's Santos side is in position for a playoff spot but may have missed out on securing the top seed in the playoffs by dropping points against Necaxa a week ago. Santos let los Rayos level the match late in the second half. Still, Santos has 25 points, four clear of Monterrey in Group 2. Castillo has all but regained the form he had prior to missing a pair of games due to injury. TV: Telefutura.

Daniel Hernandez, Jaguares at Pachuca, Saturday 5 p.m. PT: Jaguares can still reach the Mexican league playoffs but the club is working hard against itself and damaging its own chances. Against a bad Veracruz side, Jaguares failed to hold on to a lead and allowed two goals in the final 12 minutes and lost 2-1. Hernandez was part of the collapse as he played the entire match and picked up a yellow card in the 81st minute. Still, Hernandez figures to start against Pachuca, a match that will likely decide whether Jaguares still has clear options entering the final week of the season or if their run ends here. TV: Azteca America.

Sonny Guadarrama, Monarcas A vs Monterrey A, Saturday 1 p.m. PT: Guadarrama will look to help Morelia close out the Primera A regular season against Monterrey. Morelia's senior side has been eliminated from playoff contention but whether Guadarrama gets a shot to show his skills on the senior club remains to be seen.

Sammy Ochoa, Tecos A vs. Coatzalcoalcos, Saturday 2 p.m. PT: Ochoa has scored seven goals and has played in all but one of Tecos A's matches this season but like Guadarrama it remains to be seen if Tecos gives Ochoa a shot at playing in the top flight.

Jesus Padilla, Tapatio vs. Tigres B, Sunday 10 a.m. PT: Padilla's future with Guadalajara may be limited to Tapatio and the second division. Chivas chose to use Antonio Salazar instead of Padilla when the club looked to Tapatio for a striker. Salazar has one goal in nine games compared to Padilla's three in 13 but Salazar got the nod instead.

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