MEXICO: Chivas! America! Clasico!

October, 18, 2011
10/18/11
10:40
PM PT
It's big-game week in Mexico's Primera Division, which means it's Super Clasico time, and both of the really big boys -- Guadalajara and America -- come into the clash off impressive victories that followed challenging runs.

Marco Fabian de la Mora's hat trick and another pair from Erick Torres -- his first two of the Apertura -- sparked Chivas' 5-2 rout of Zapopan rival Estudiantes Tecos, the Goats' first win in six games and their first under new coach Fernando Quirarte's guidance.

America ended a seven-game winless streak with a 3-0 romp at Monterrey, the Aguilas' first win since Fernando Tena took charge last month.

Guadalajara, which had scored five goals in its previous 7½ games, vaulted to third in the standings, just one point off the lead. America is still 16th but sits just three points from the playoff zone.

The Clasico, contested since 1943, is set for Sunday afternoon at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. America leads the all-time series, 73-69-63, but Chivas has won five of the last seven and has the better record in Mexican league play: 51-48-43.

Northern Mexico's biggest rivalry -- the Clasico Regiomontano, between crosstown rivals Monterrey and UANL Tigres -- also is this week, on Saturday at Tigres' Estadio Universitario.
  • THE TOP 3
1. HERCULEZ STRIKES AGAIN


Former Galaxy standout Herculez Gomez has scored in four straight appearances and has six goals in just 577 minutes of action this season for Estudiantes Tecos.

He netted another in the Owls' 5-2 loss Saturday to Guadalajara and would have a dozen, scoring at this rate, if he were a full-time player.

Los Angeles-born Gomez made last year's U.S. World Cup team thanks to his scoring exploits during the spring 2010 season at Puebla -- a league-best 10 goals in 15 games -- but he scored just five in 29 games last Apertura/Clausura season with Pachuca. He's not been in the U.S. national team picture since the post-World Cup friendly against Brazil, but his knack for the net perhaps begs for a recall.

But first he needs to make Tecos' starting XI. He's scored five of his goals off the bench while starting just five of 13 games.

“I can´t think national team if I´m still trying to crack the club,” Gomez told Major League Soccer's website. “I´ve got to kill one bird before I can get to the next. There´s no two with one stone at the moment.”

2. TIJUANA WINS, CORONA WAITS

Club Tijuana finally won a home game -- and did so after surrendering a second-half lead, a big step forward. San Diego's Joe Corona spent most of the outing on the bench, his new role since the coaching change.

The Xoloitzcuintles' 3-2 victory Saturday over Pachuca was just their second in the Primera Division and their first since upsetting Santos Laguna back on Aug. 6. It doesn't elevate Tijuana (2-5-6) in the standings (still 17th, just two points above last-place Atlas) nor, more important, in the relegation standings (although every win helps), but provides a huge confidence boost that was badly needed.

Juan Pablo Santiago, making his first appearance since July, settled things for the Xolos, heading home a Leandro Augusto cross -- the second time they hooked up in the game -- in the 68th minute, just six minutes after Elias Hernandez's equalizer.

Corona, who played as a winger in mentor Joaquin del Olmo's system, has been switched by new coach Antonio Mohamed to a central playmaking role, and he'll need time to make the transition.

“[Mohamed] tells me that with my quality and vision of the game, I should be able to fit into that position very well, and I do feel very comfortable there,” Corona told MLS's website. “It’s a matter of getting used to it, and he’s been giving me the confidence.”

Corona, 21, who was born in Los Angeles, also is keeping his options open in the international game. He played with Mexico's under-22 national team in August but says U.S. assistant coach Martin Vasquez, the former Chivas USA head coach who played internationally for Mexico and the U.S., has been in contact.

“He told me they are looking at me,” Corona said. “It is pretty positive feedback to keep working.”

Corona said he wants to “be an important part of a national team for some years and go to a World Cup,” and he's open to that happening with Mexico or the U.S. “I would be more than glad to represent a national team that wants to give me the opportunity to play.”

3. SANTOS BACK ON TOP

The revolving door atop the Apertura standings has opened again to Santos Laguna, which is 5-0-0 in league play (and 7-0-1 in all matches) since Benjamin Galindo took over in early September.

The team from Torreon, which was in first place following the first two rounds, got two goals from Oribe Peralta and a 92nd-minute winner from Christian Suarez to beat Toluca, 3-2, improve to 7-3-2 and climb one point above Cruz Azul and Guadalajara and two ahead of previous leader Tigres, a 2-0 loser at Morelia.

Peralta has scored in his last four games, has nine league goals and 13, including CONCACAF Champions League action.

Seven sides have led the league through 13 rounds. In addition to Santos and Tigres, they are, in order, Monterrey, Pumas UNAM, Guadalajara, Cryuz Azul and Jaguares.
  • QUICK KICKS

Mexican national team midfielder Gerardo Torrado, of Cruz Azul, will undergo leg surgery and miss the rest of the Apertura. ... California-born Miguel Angel Ponce assisted Torres' first goal in Guadalajara's romp. ... Los Alamitos' Jonathan Bornstein made the 18-man game roster for Tigres' loss at Morelia, just the second time he's made the bench this season. He's not seen first-team action. ... Jaguares (5-3-5) are winless in four games since they climbed to first place. The Chiapas club is fifth, three points off the lead. ... Atlas routed Pumas, 4-1, as Jahir Barraza scored twice. The Zorros and Tijuana ended nine-game winless streaks this weekend. ... Next week brings a "doble jornada" to the Primera Division, with games midweek and at the weekend. ...

Former Chivas USA forward Jesus Padilla, released during preseason this year, netted his fourth goal this season for La Piedad (8-2-1)m which extended its lead in the second-tier Liga de Ascenso to six points. ... Irapuato (4-1-6) is second after rallying from a two-goal deficit in the final 11 minutes for a 4-3 victory over Toros Neza. Esteban Gonzalez scored the winner in the 89th. ... Merida is last no more. The Venados, winless until last weekend, made Cruz Azul Hidalgo its second straight 3-0 victim. Ever Guzman netted all three. ... 2007 MLS MVP Luciano Emilio, back with Toros Neza after a brief stint at Hidalgo, scored his seventh of the season.
  • THE NUMBERS
PRIMERA DIVISION
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Jornada 13

Friday
Morelia 2 (Sabah 79, Lozano pen. 88), UANL Tigres 0
Saturday
Monterrey 0, America 3 (J. Martinez 41, O. Rojas 68, Mosquera 75)
Jaguares de Chiapas 1 (J. Martinez 57), Atlante 1 (O. Martinez pen. 75)
Santos Laguna 3 (O. Peralta 29, 43, C. Suarez 92+), Toluca 2 (Zinha 6, Brizuela 50)
Guadalajara 5 (E. Torres 7, 56, de la Mora 32, 37, 55), Estudiantes Tecos 2 (Lillingston 53, H. Gomez 73)
San Luis 1 (A. Moreno 55), Cruz Azul 1 (E. Perea 83)
Sunday
Puebla 1 (Riascos 58), Gallos Blancos de Queretaro 0
Pumas UNAM 1 (Palencia 37), Atlas 4 (R. Bocanegra 31, J. Barraza 48, 57, D. Arreola 61)
Club Tijuana 3 (R. Enriquez 43, J. Santiago 48, 68), Pachuca 2 (og Abrego 21)

Standings: 1. Santos Laguna 23; 2. Cruz Azul 22; 3. Guadalajara 22; 4. UANL Tigres 21; 5. Jaguares 20; 6. Pachuca 20; 7. Pumas UNAM 20; 8. Monterrey 17; 9. Morelia and San Luis 17; 11. Gallos Blancos 17; 12. Atlante 17; 13. Puebla 16; 14. Toluca 16; 15. Estudiantes Tecos 15; 16. America 14; 17. Tijuana 12; 18. Atlas 10

Relegation percentage: 1. Tijuana (13 games/12 points) 0.9231; 2. Estudiantes Tecos (81/86) 1.0617; 3. Atlas (81/88) 1.0864; 4. Gallos Blancos (81/91) 1.1235; 5. Jaguares (81/97) 1.1975; 6. Puebla (81/98) 1.2099; 7. Atlante and San Luis (81/99) 1.2222. Atop the list: 1. Cruz Azul (81/145) 1.7901; 2. Monterrey (81/141) 1.7407; 3. Santos (80/131) 1.6375; 4. Morelia (80/127) 1.5875; 5. Pumas UNAM (81/125) 1.5432; 6. Toluca (81/124) 1.5309

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Jornada 14
Saturday
Cruz Azul at Gallos Blancos, 3 p.m.
San Luis at Jaguares, 3 p.m.
Monterrey at UANL Tigres, 5 p.m.
Pumas UNAM at Pachuca, 5 p.m.
Santos at Estudiates Tecos, 5 p.m.
Morelia at Atlas, 6:45 p.m.
Club Tijuana at Atlante, 7 p.m.
Sunday
Puebla at Toluca, 10 a.m.
Guadalajara at America, 2 p.m.
Schedule subject to change

Goals leaders
1. Oribe Peralta (Santos) 9
2. Carlos Bueno (Gallos Blancos) 8
3. Ivan Alonso (Toluca) 7
Christian Benitez (America) 7
Hector Mancilla (UANL Tigres) 7
Luis Gabriel Rey (Jaguares) 7
7. Marco Fabian de la Mora (Guadalajara) 6
Miguel Sabah (Morelia) 6
9. Herculez Gomez (Estudiantes Tecos) 5
Dayro Moreno (Tijuana) 5
Luis Perez (Monterrey) 5

LIGA DE ASCENSO
Last week's results (home teams listed first)
Jornada 11
Friday
Altamira 2 (R. Rocha 43, J. Otero 49), Dorados de Sinaloa 0
Correcaminos 2 (R. Saucedo 49, J. Silva 50), Leones Negros 2 (F. Silva 23, M. Zepeda 61)
Saturday
Pumas Morelos 2 (A. Rodriguez 45, H. Gonzalez 57), Lobos BUAP 2 (D. Ceballos 31, J. Garcia 42)
Irapuato 4 (J. Cruz Gutierrez 42, 89, J. Valedez 80, E. Gonzalez 86), Toros Neza 3 (Luciano Emilio 40, J. Atilano 50, D. Mejia 79)
Veracruz 1 (C. Ruiz 57), Necaxa 1 (P. Ibarra 82)
Celaya 1 (R. Garcia 41), Leon 1 (Maz 38)
Sunday
La Piedad 3 (J. Padilla 28, L. Mendoza 66, E. Dos Santos 82), Indios de Ciudad Juarez 1 (B. Perez 57)
Cruz Azul Hidalgo 0, Merida 3 (E. Guzman 8, 64, 80)

Standings: 1. La Piedad 25; 2. Irapuato 19; 3. Leon 18; 4. Necaxa 18; 5. Correcaminos 17; 6. Pumas Morelos 17; 7. Altamira 17; 8. Toros Neza 16; 9. Veracruz 15; 10. Leones Negros 14; 11. Celaya 13; 12. Lobos BUAP 11; 13. Dorados de Sinaloa 10; 14. Merida 9; 15. Indios de Ciudad Juarez 8; 16. Cruz Azul Hidalgo 8

This week's games (all times Pacific)
Jornada 12
Friday
Celaya at Necaxa, 6 p.m.
Pumas Morelos at Leones Negros, 6:45 p.m.
Saturday
Veracruz at Indios, 5 p.m.
Correcaminos at Dorados, 5 p.m.
Altamira at Merida, 5 p.m.
Cruz Azul Hidalgo at Leon, 6 p.m.
Sunday
Irapuato at Lobos BUAP, 10 a.m.
La Piedad at Toros Neza, 10 a.m.
Schedule subject to change

Goal leaders
1. Jose Cruz Gutierrez (Irapuato) 9
2. Ismael Valadez (Altamira) 8
Ever Guzman (Merida) 8
Roberto Saucedo (Correcaminos) 8
5. Roberto Nurse (La Piedad) 7
Pablo Torres (Dorados) 7
Luciano Emilio (Toros Neza/Cruz Azul Hidalgo) 7
8. Nelson Maz (Leon) 6
Diego Olsina (Correcaminos) 6
10. Eder Pacheco (Leon) 5
Victor Mañon (Indios) 5
Carlos Ruiz (Veracruz) 5
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
This week's games (all times Pacific)
Group Stage, Round 6
Tuesday

A:
Morelia 2 (Rojas 56, Sabah 59), Alajuelense (Costa Rica) 1 (Gabas 36)
D:
Seattle Sounders 1 (Montero 42), Monterrey 2 (Carreño 3, Delgado 60)
Wednesday
B:
Colorado Rapids at Santos Laguna, 5 p.m.
C: Tauro (Panama) at Pumas UNAM, 7 p.m.

Standings
A:
1. Alajuelense (Costa Rica) 12 points; 2. x-Morelia 12; 3. Galaxy 9; 4. Motagua (Honduras) 0
B: 1. x-Santos Laguna 10; 2. Colorado Rapids 7; 3. Isidro Metapan (El Salvador) 6; 4. Real España (Honduras) 4
C: 1. Pumas UNAM 8; 2. FC Dallas 7; 3. Toronto FC 7; 4. Tauro (Panama) 5
D: 1. x-Monterrey 12; 2. x-Seattle Sounders 10; 3. Comunicaciones (Guatemala) 7; 4. Herediano (Costa Rica) 3

x -- advances to quarterfinals

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?