Last season while Enrique "El Paleta" Esqueda played for Club America under Carlos "El Maetro" Reinoso’s command, the Chilean americanista legend stated that El Paleta was better than Chicharito. Reinoso later rephrased his statement on Twitter, where he depicted Esqueda as a player with technical conditions similar to those of Little Pea. This laudation concluded with Esqueda’s transfer to Pachuca.
Esqueda, now representing el equipo de Mexico, has declared his admiration to his former coach, and culminated his statement by regarding him as a better coach than Mourinho or Pep.
The rivalry between hidalguenses and aguiluchos has reached another dimension. Paul Aguilar will return to his former home where he played many excellent games, which helped him obtain a ticket to South Africa. Efrain Flores, former Chivas coach now Pachuca’s, knows how to win a game against America after his rebaño years. And what to say about Esqueda, his desire to prove Reinoso wrong devours him, and might make him pull an Adebayor by running the entire field just to celebrate his goal in front of La Monumental.
America comes to this game with eight points under its belt, positioned 8th in the table. Reinoso’s boys are yet to win an away game, but have showcased some potential at both Toluca’s Bombonera and Tigres’ Universitario. Both games finished with ties. As a team, America has scored 11 goals and is one of the top three offensive teams in the Apertura.
The reason behind America’s success when it comes to scoring has a name, and that is Christian "Chucho" Benítez. His work ethic and dedication to the team has wowed both his teammates and his opponents. After five games, he has scored five goals and stands first on the top scorers list. Ángel Reyna’s return should increment America’s opportunities to score, as seen last weekend in the 5-2 win against Atlas.
In order for America to reach La Liguilla, it requires of a player like Rolfi Montenegro to appear more and become the difference maker. America has players that easily take the ball away in the midfield such as recent Mexican call-up Jesús Molina and the Brazilian Rosinei, therefore Montenegro has more liberty to shoot from long distance and open the field for the wing players.
Pachuca’s start to the present season has been turbulent. One weekend they defeat a team like Héctor Hugo Eugui’s Toluca, and the next one they lose to a rebuilt team, with a new coach, like Estudiantes. Pachuca has seven points, but stands 15th in the goals-against table.
To Flores’s dismay, his best striker, Jaime Ayoví, got booked a red card at 10 de Marzo’s pitch and will not be able to play. Ayoví has scored three goals. Pachuca’s offense will depend on Elías Hernández and Mauro Cejas’s actions during the game. Luckily, Carlos Gerardo Rodríguez, the left back, has been incorporating into the offensive schemes quiet well, and could prove to become a headache to America’s right back.
In the Clausura 2007, Pachuca and America disputed a final, and los tuzos finished victorious with an aggregate score of 3-2. Times have changed. Aquivaldo Mosquera’s now wears azulcrema colors. In Marco Bueno, Pachuca has a youngster having try outs at Liverpool’s academy, and America has a player like Diego Reyes, who formed part of a Mexican representation that finished third in a U-20 World Cup. Who knows if Reinoso and Esqueda’s ruptured or strong friendship will change after Saturday night?
You can catch America vs. Pachuca on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8 pm EDT on Telefutura.