Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Cruz Azul Fútbol Club, A.C.
Date: Friday, July 21st
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
All time record: Xolos have won three, Cruz Azul has won four, and there have been five draws between the teams.
The new-look Xolos look to get the Eduardo Coudet era underway against a Cruz Azul team that’s looking to put a few dreadful seasons behind them. Xolos retooled their entire squad, and Chacho left no surprises in his lineup for tonight’s match.
It will be very interesting to see how different Chacho’s 4-1-3-2 is from former manager Miguel Herrera’s 3-5-2 and how good the chemistry is between the players. Mauricio Cuero has looked fierce along the right wing during the preseason, and he and Alejandro Guido have real opportunities to win themselves starting jobs in the absence of Paul Arriola and Joe Corona respectively, who are with the United States National Team in the Gold Cup.
Cruz Azul brought in Felipe Mora from Universidad de Chile and Edgar from Alaves in Spain to try and bolster an attack that only managed 19 goals during the 2017 Clausura. Will it be enough though to make a significant difference? Angel Mena managed to contribute five goals and four assists during the Clausura, so Mora and Edgar make Cruz Azul less one-dimensional in the attack.