WOODY BAUM - Thursday, February 11, 2010
Francisco Torres hopes to return from injury to face American rival Herculez Gomez this Sunday while Marco Vidal and Indios are still praying to break their winless streak.
San Luis – Indios
Indios' best chance to break their winless streak just may come this weekend when they visit San Luis this Saturday at the Estadio Alfonso Lastra.
Indios have only managed one point this season and their woes continue, but will face a San Luis squad that has been the team most scored upon in this tournament; a fact that may lead San Luis to regret sending Michael Orozco to Philadelphia on loan for the season.
American Marco Vidal has solidified his starting spot as he has started and played the full 90 minutes each game this week since initially being left off the squad in their season opener.
It will be interesting to see if the San Luis defense will be able to hold off an offense that has yet to score a goal in the tournament.
Indios, despite their record, have shown great heart and determination this season and will have a golden opportunity this Saturday to salvage some dignity in the tournament.
Juan de la Barra, from Indios, and Rodolfo Salinas from San Luis will be out suspended for the encounter.
The fierce rivalry between Puebla and Pachuca will continue Sunday at the Estadio Cuauhtemoc in Puebla.
Pachuca will look to quiet Puebla head coach, José Luis Sánchez Solá, who for a long time now has criticized Pachuca, calling them "Mexico's team" and suggesting that the team has benefited from favorable treatment from referees.
Sola will need the result after blowing a lead last week in the 89th against Atlante.
Herculez Gomez will look for his second consecutive start for the home team, after delivering Puebla's only goal last week.
Gomez has been somewhat of a surprise this season after signing with Puebla when he was let go by the Kansas City Wizards.
His solid play as a second half substitute in several games earlier in the tournament seems to have been rewarded and he will hope to solidify his starting spot.
Francisco Torres was injured when playing against Queretaro and was left out of the squad last week in Pachuca's win last week against San Luis.
However, there is a chance he will return with the team this Saturday as his recovery is ahead of schedule. He will face stiff competition for playing time as Damian Alvaraz will be returning from a three game suspension.
It should be an exciting game as Pachuca looks to build on their strong play this tournament while Puebla will need the win after only picking up four points in their first four games.
Both squads should be available for the encounter.
Monterrey will host cross-town rivals, Tigres, in a Classico in the Estadio Tecnológico this Sunday night.
Monterrey has started the season strong with seven points in four games and will look to continue that success after winning the Liguilla last tournament.
Nevertheless, it has been three years since they have won the Classico. Tigres will hope to continue that trend as they need additional points to remain the hunt for the Liguilla.
American Edgar Castillo will occupy his normal position as starting left back.
The American's performances have been inconsistent so far this tournament, exemplified by last week's tie against Pumas, where in a period of 10 minutes a turnover lead to a Pumas goal but later delivered a game tying assist in the 89th minute.
He will need to contribute more of the latter if Tigres hope to reach the postseason.
The match should be exciting and emotional as both teams are playing for both hometown bragging rights as well as tournament success.
The early season success of Aldo de Nigris, of Monterrey, will be met by the explosiveness of Brazilian Itamar Batista, of Tigres, who last week scored twice in the last 10 minutes to give Tigres the point against Pumas.
Both squads will should be fully available for the encounter.