EDGAR ZUNIGA - Friday, January 4, 2013
Greg Garza still hasn't gotten all the champagne and confetti out of his hair but the Liga MX Clausura 2013 season gets under way this weekend with Yanks in every corner of Mexico.
Pachuca - Atlante
Despite finishing in the bottom half of the table, both Pachuca and Atlante came within three points of qualifying for the playoffs and will look to get the new year started on a positive note on Saturday.
Isaac Acuņa, who joined Atlante during the short off-season, is not expected to start but might see some action.
While Atlante brings a healthy roster, Pachuca's Enrique Esqueda has been put on the disabled list.
Tigres - Jaguares
This is a tale of two fierce feline squads that also just missed out on the playoffs last season and are hoping for better fortune in 2013.
Francisco Torres made the move from Pachuca to Tigres and is listed in the starting lineup, so expect him to play the full 90.
Neither team reports any injuries for their Saturday encounter.
San Luis - Santos Laguna
Santos missed out on the playoffs on goal differential and are compelled to try and regain their championship form from last year's Clausura.
Meanwhile, San Luis is glad to get a fresh start after an awful Apertura 2012 season.
Although Herculez Gomez is not currently listed as a starter by the club, he remains an impact player and will surely see action coming on off the bench. Still, don't be surprised to see him in the starting 11 on Saturday.
Neither team reports injuries.
Puebla - Club Tijuana
On Sunday, instead of celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men, Club Tijuana fans will raise their "rosca de reyes" (king's ring pastry) in honor of the Three Amigos, who each had important parts to play in the team's championship run.
For Puebla fans, who endured a horrible Apertura 2012 season by their team, their rosca de reyes might be the highlight of their day if the team doesn't step up to the challenge of the reigning champion Xoloitzcuintles.
DaMarcus Beasley will try to answer that challenge, as he returns for Puebla, but is now joined in the starting lineup by fellow Yank Michael Orozco, who is on loan from San Luis.
While Garza and Joe Corona are listed as starters, Edgar Castillo will miss the game due to suspension, as will fellow Xolo Richard Ruiz.
Neither team reports any injuries for this Sunday clash.
In Ascenso MX action, Marco Vidal and Lobos BUAP take on Necaxa on Friday, Adrian Ruelas and Veracruz face Dorados de Sinaloa on Saturday, and Jesus Padilla and La Piedad will battle with Celaya on Sunday.