Los Angeles Soccer: Jorge Hank Rhon

MEXICO: Tijuana kicks off July 24

June, 15, 2011
Club Tijuana's Primera Division debut is set for July 24 against Clausura runner-up Morelia at Estadio Caliente, and the Xolos' most anticipated showdown in its first season in Mexican soccer's first flight -- against Club Deportivo Guadalajara -- is slated for Aug. 3, although the venue isn't certain.

Tijuana also will play home games during the fall Apertura championship against Puebla, Gallos Blancos, Estudiantes Tecos, UANL Tigres, Pachuca, Jaguares and San Luis. All three of the Mexico City powers -- America, reigning champ Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul -- will visit during the spring Clausura season.

Club officials have mused about playing home games against Guadalajara and America, Mexico's most popular clubs, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Both teams have massive followings in Southern California and throughout America's Southwest, and the games certainly would draw big crowds and possibly sell out.

Club Tijuana is buoyant after owner Jorge Hank Rhon, the former mayor of Tijuana, was freed from custody Tuesday after a federal judge dismissed weapons charges against him stemming from a June 4 military raid on his compound south of the border that seized 88 weapons and more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition. A judge refused a request by Baja prosecutors to keep Hank Rhon imprisoned in a murder investigation involving one of the weapons allegedly found.

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MEXICO: Xolos owner's arrest clouds future

June, 6, 2011

What impact, if any, former Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon's arrest Saturday on weapons charges will have on Club Tijuana and its first season in Mexico's top-tier Primera Division is uncertain.

Hank, 55, the billionaire owner of the Xoloitzcuintles and the Caliente casino/dog track complex in Tijuana that houses the club's stadium, was arrested in an early-morning raid by soldiers as part of an investigation into organized crime, authorities told media in Mexico.

Hank and 10 others were taken into cutody after authorities said they had recovered 98 weapons -- some of them military-grade -- nearly 10,000 bullets and a gas grenade from Hank's home complex south of the border.

Federacion Mexicana de Futbol regulations could lead to Club Tijuana's ouster from the Mexican league if Hank is convicted.

The Xolos, who were promoted last month from the second-tier Liga de Ascenso, are moving forward with preparations for their first season in the Primera Division. The club will stage a four-team preseason event July 6 and 9 at Estadio Caliente. CONCACAF Champions League titlist Monterrey and fellow Primera clubs Puebla and San Luis will participate.

Club Tijuana officials have proposed playing its game against giants Club America and Guadalajara at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

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