While America set the standard for unmet expectations in the Apertura, it is difficult not to mention Tijuana in the conversation. After an ambitious summer market and plenty of talk, Xolos fell flat in their stated goal of reaching the playoffs, and indeed have work ahead of them if they are to avoid a trip back down to the Liga de Ascenso. Luckily for fans of Mexico's newest top-flight team, that should be an easily reachable goal.
The management at the Estadio Caliente, keen on capturing an audience north of the border, has brought in two American players, Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza, to shore up the left side. Castillo comes from America, where he struggled more often than not, but will be more than ready to prove he belongs in the Mexican league and on the U.S. national team, where he has lost his spot.
Garza is a lesser-known quantity at the age of 20, and the U.S. youth international will be looking to get his first consistent look at professional action, having just made four senior appearances, all with Portugal's Estoril Praia. He is unlikely to feature regularly at first, but the Tijuana management seems to have full faith in his ability and could see more time as he gets more accustomed to life in Mexico.
Finally, Riascos looks to be a good pickup, having scored six goals in his half-season with Puebla after moving from Shanghai Shenhua, where he was named the Chinese league's best player and top goalscorer in 2010. With Tijuana managing to hold on to Dayro Moreno and Jose Sand (for the time being), Antonio Mohamed could have a lethal strike force on his hands if he can get them all firing with a consistent midfield behind them.
While Tijuana may have disappointed with its Apertura showing, these reinforcements should be sufficient to keep the northern club up, and if they can achieve some consistency, perhaps even qualify for a Liguilla spot. Still, survival should be the aim and a solid market, albeit one that lacked the star power of the summer's will ensure that.
Tijuana Transfers - In
Edgar Castillo - DF, America
Duvier Riascos - FW, Puebla
Greg Garza - MF, Estoril Praia
Jose Alfredo Tahuilan - DF, Atlas
Tijuana Transfers - Out
Fernando Santana - MF, unattached
Felix Ayala - MF, unattached
Luis Orozco - FW, unattached
Javier Yacuzzi - DF, unattached
FMF State Of Mind Transfer Window Grade: B