Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Club de Fútbol América S.A. de C.V.
Date: Friday, September 15th
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.)
This has to be the best matchup of the weekend, with the second best team in Club América (5W 1D 2L) coming to la frontera norte to face off against Club Tijuana (4W 1D 3L). Tijuana is the hottest team in Liga MX, having won four straight games to rocket up from the bottom of the table. New manager Eduardo Coudet has the team firing on all cylinders, and Argentine import Gustavo Bou has found his scoring touch. With his goal against Pumas last Sunday, Bou tied Xolos legend Dayro Moreno with five goals in five straight games. Once a disorganized, undisciplined mess, the team has coalesced into one of Liga MX’s most fearsome units. The defense has allowed just two goals in the past four games, with Uruguayan Matías Aguirregaray stellar two-way play as a right wing back.
Xolos will come head on against former manager Miguel Herrera, who is making his first return to Estadio Caliente since leaving the team this past summer. América’s strength lie in Piojo’s multifaceted attack. The club’s leading goalscorers - Paraguayan Cecilio Domínguez and El Tri forward Oribe Peralta both have just three goals each, with four others contributing goals. Ex-Xolos central defensive midfielder Guido Rodríguez is a key figure for América as he was in Tijuana, sitting behind the play looking to break up passing lanes and prolong the attack.
América’s Achilles heel could be discipline however, as three players have been sent off in the eight games the club has played. Tijuana’s physically aggressive style could potentially throw Las Águilas off of their game, although they too must be careful not to get themselves into trouble.