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Notes from the Western Frontera - June 23

Lajud injury and return timetable, Omar Mendoza joins permanently, Damián Pérez says goodbye, a new transfer rumor, the new schedule and more

Monterrey v Tijuana - Playoffs Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Preseason

Xolos preseason continued in Mazatlán, finishing up yesterday. The big development this past week was when it was revealed that goalkeeper Gibran Lajud had suffered a fracture of the fourth metacarpal (ring finger) on his left hand. Manager Diego Cocca said in a press release on Tuesday that Lajud had surgery to repair the injured finger. “We have to wait for it to heal. We need to be patient” Cocca said in the release, emphasizing the “need to give it time. He’s doing fine mentally. He’s fine because he’s a fighter. We need to give him our support and he should be ready to join us next week.”

Moves

Xolos announced on Wednesday that they had made right back Omar Mendoza’s loan from Cruz Azul a permanent move. The move was apparently made at the end of last season, but was made public this week.

Mendoza cemented himself into the right back position for Xolos in the past season

Rumors

Cocca also added in Tuesday’s press release that “We have slots for foreign players we need to fill,” Cocca said. “The front office is working on that so the roster is complete. We are looking for a central defender, a midfielder and a forward for those spots.” One of those spots could be filled by 23 year old Erick Castillo, who currently plays for Ecuador’s Barcelona S.C. Depending on the source, Castillo is a right back, right wing, or midfielder. In this clip from the Florida Cup in January, Castillo is seen hitting a golazo from the left wing.

These rumors seem to have started from a June 19 report from Ecuagol.com linking Castillo to Xolos. Castillo could be a good replacement for the departed Juan Iturbe or Ignacio Malcorra, however it’s unlikely he’d be able to supplant Mendoza at right back.

Damián Pérez is also likely on his way out, as he posted what appears to be a farewell note on his (private) Instagram page.

This comes as the rumors surrounding Damián Musto heat up. Musto is suspended until August 16 for using a banned diuretic in June of 2017 when he was with Racing - the club reportedly interested in his services again. If Musto isn’t dealt, he’ll be eligible to re-join Xolos in Week 5 against Toluca.

Season

The Liga MX 2018 Apertura schedule came out, and as had been rumored Xolos new home date and time will (mostly) be on Saturday evenings at 7:00 PM Pacific.

Home games of note are the season opener against Chivas, the Week 3 rivalry matchup against León, and the Week 6 Clasico Inglés against defending Liga MX Champions Santos Laguna. They’ll face the Monterrey clubs on the road in Week 2 against Tigres and in Week 11 against Rayados and head to Estadio Azteca in Week 13 to face Club América.

Also revealed were the perks for XoloPass - Xolos season tickets.

I can’t recall any other team ever offering a free medical check up with season tickets, but I also don’t live in a country with universal health care. The other perks include two-for-one movie tickets Monday through Thursday, legal support if you’re in a car accident, and home protection for $500 pesos ($25 US dollars) for either a locksmith or a plumber as well as attorney services in case you’re robbed or your home is burglarized - none of which I am used to seeing either. I guess it beats another scarf to hang on the wall.

Xolos Femenil

Nothing really to report on this front, although I am hopeful the Liga MX Femenil schedule for the 2018 Apertura will be out soon. Current Xolos Femenil player Valentina Oviedo and her father, ex-footballer and current Xolos coach Franky Oviedo were featured in an article in Periódico Frontera by Erick Navar for Father’s Day.