Jose Torres Struggles in Liga MX Clausura playoffs
The young American midfielder gets the hook from Tigres' first playoff match, while Herculez Gomez starts a title defense. Elsewhere, the Tijuana boys have a big match and Central America heats up.
May 10, 2013
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The opening of the Liga MX Clausura playoffs didn’t go well for Tigres and went even worse for Jose Torres. The American midfielder was removed after only a half hour of action against civic rival Monterrey. The Rayados ended up managing just the one goal Humberto Suazo scored in the 19th minute despite a cornucopia of other chances. Tigres forced a magnificent save from Jonathan Orozco but will be happy enough to trail only 1-0 on aggregate heading back to one of the best atmospheres in the league for the return Saturday.
American midfielder Alonso Hernandez was an unused substitute for the Rayados.
In the other match, Club América took the upper hand against its rival in the capital, Pumas, with a 1-0 away victory thanks to this soaring header from Raul Jimenez off an excellent set up from Chucho Benitez.
Already eliminated from the Liguilla, Tijuana put on an overpowering performance against Chivas in the final match of their Liga MX season. Edgar Castillo went the full 90 and Joe Corona had a cameo toward the end a 4-0 grilling of the Goats.
Without that pesky league in the way, Xolos head to Brazil next week for a Tuesday Copa Libertadores match against Palmeiras. The first leg ended scoreless.
Should it get a victory, Tijuana will make its third trip to Brazil with top-seeded Atlético Mineiro advancing over Sao Paulo.
Other Americans in Liga MX
Herc Gomez and Santos kicked off the quest to win a title with a 0-0 draw against Atlas. Gomez’s club closed the season with a loss to fellow playoff club Morelia.
Puebla avoided relegation but won’t contend for a championship. Both DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco Fiscal closed the season by going the full 90 in a 3-2 win against Queretaro, which will be sent down.
Central American Domestic Leagues
The Central American leagues are also in the playoff phase with many titles, and CONCACAF Champions League spots, being decided.
The final is set in Honduras with Real Sociedad challenging Apertura champion Olimpia. Sunday’s first leg will be hosted by Real Sociedad, but Olimpia might have to move its leg to the Olympic Stadium in San Pedro Sula because of a brawl its ultras got into with police.
The semifinals are underway in Costa Rica. One pits Herediano against Perez Zeledon. Ariel Rodriguez, who has broken into the national team this year, alleged that the referee intimidated the club, saying there was no way they’d win during a 4-3 loss. The Herediano home leg is Saturday. In the other semi, Saprissa hosts Cartaginés tonight.
San Francisco and Árabe Unido played to a scoreless draw in the first leg of their semifinal in Panama. San Miguelito bested Tauro 2-1 in the other. Árabe Unido won the Apertura.
In El Salvador, it’s Firpo-Alianza in one semi and Juventud-FAS in the other. That league just had its semifinals finalized.
The regular season rolls on in Guatemala. Apertura champions Comunicaciones leads the league but bitter rival Municipal, which finished second in that tournament, sit in last place.
Playoffs continue in Nicaragua and Belize, but Real Estreli and Belmopan Bandits already have the 2013-14 CCL spot in each country locked up by virtue of topping the aggregate table. Both clubs won the Apertura and are in the league semifinals.
Mexico manager Chepo de la Torre is hoping to get some of his European players an early release with the qualifier against Jamaica moved to June 4 because of El Tri’s Confederations Cup participation. He was in Spain to chat with mangers about getting an early release and also talk with Carlos Vela about a possible return to the team.
Defence Force won its second title in three seasons, clinching the Trinidad and Tobago league Monday thanks to a loss from second-place Caledonia.
Martin Rennie told Marc Weber how important the Canadian Cup would be to Vancouver: "It would be the first trophy the club has won, apart from the Disney trophy of course, which is on my resume now."
Despite struggles, the Antigua Barracuda’s general secretary is happy with how the squad is progressing.
The US beach soccer team is undefeated after two matches but faces a winner-take-all match against the host Bahamas to get into the group stages. The winner and runner-up qualify for the 2013 Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti.
You can catch up with how all the players the U.S. will face in the Hex who play outside the region did this weekend with our Hex Foes Abroad feature. It was a good week for Costa Ricans.
Video of the Week
MLS teams in Copa Libertadores isn’t happening any time in the foreseeable future. Seriously. It isn’t. But after establishing that fact, Jonah Freedman looks at past MLS trips to South America. That gives us an excuse to look back at DC United’s 2005 Copa Sudamericana tie with U. Católica of Chile in our video(s) of the week. Here are highlights of the match in RFK, a 1-1 draw:
And the return leg which the Chileans won 3-1.
As you can see from the annotations, the full 90 of each match is also available on YouTube if you REALLY want to reminisce.