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Notes from the Western Frontera - July 7

The first two preseason matches are in the books, moves are happening to both the first team and Xolos Femenil, rumors, and more.

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

Preseason

It was a busy week of games for Xolos. Last Saturday they drew Cruz Azul 0-0 in a friendly in Irvine, California.

According to Said Rodríguez, Xolos started Luís Michel, Omar Mendoza, Julián Velázquez, Luis Chávez, Juan Carlos “Topo” Valenzuela, Ignacio “Nacho” Rivero , Erick Torres, Juan Martín Lucero, Hiram Muñoz, Rubio Rubín, and Miller Bolaños. There’s no word on substitutions, but notice who isn’t starting: Gustavo “Pantera” Bou, Damián Musto, and Gibran Lajud. Lajud is still recovering from surgery on a broken finger, but Bou and Musto are not. More on them later in the column...

Xolos also played Pumas on Tuesday, and FOX Sports’ Lore Troncoso tweeted out the lineup sheet from the match, which again gives us a good insight into who was available - and who was not.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Luis Chávez scored Xolos’ goal in the 17th minute, while Pumas’ Carlos González equalized in the 65th minute. Xolos put out a pretty good recap video of the match, in which you can pretty clearly see some of the new construction above the existing East Stand.

Moves

Pantera Bou wasn’t available for either friendly because his move back to Racing Club was confirmed Wednesday by the Argentine side.

Bou showed glimpses of promise despite the tumultuous 2017 Apertura campaign and being injured for a portion of the 2018 Clausura. Bou’s absence leaves a huge void at the striker position for Xolos. Juan Martín Lucero showed some of the same promise that Bou did since his arrival from Malaysia in 2017, but he has been largely inconsistent when given opportunities. José Alberto “Beto” García is another option, although he’s a bit of an unknown as he was acquired late into Xolos’ 2018 Clausura. The one advantage Beto has over Lucero is being Mexican. Xolos have relatively few Mexicans on the squad, which could pose problematic due to the 9/9 rule.

Damián Pérez is announced to have joined Chilean giants Colo-Colo by their social media account.

The writing was on the wall for Pérez, who had played well but saw Luis Fuentes brought in during the offseason.

Rumors

Damián Musto is now being linked to SD Huesca, who were recently promoted to La Liga from Spain’s Segundo División. This rumor seems to originate with Nicolás Montalá, an Argentinian journalist who covers Racing Club. Montalá had been following Musto being shopped to Racing, and the subsequent breakdown of that deal.

Gustavo Canto from Ferro Carril Oeste in Argentina’s Primera B Nacionál (second division) is also being linked to Xolos, with another Argentinian journalist (Alejo Squeri) the source. Squeri tweeted out the following:

That table looks like the same one in this tweet officially announcing the signing of Enzo Kalinski last year.

But without either side confirming it officially, we’ll keep this one in the rumors bin for now. Canto is a 24 year old center back, however not having played above the Primera B points to Canto being more of a depth signing. Still, it looks like it could be anyone’s job next to Topo on the Xolos’ back line.

No new news on Diego “Pulpo” González, although rumors that give specifics (Pulpo will allegedly be on a year-long loan from Racing) are usually pretty solid. This is another one that seems about done but hasn’t been confirmed by either side just yet.

Xolos Femenil

Training camp continued for Xolos Femenil, and according to the Liga MX Femenil website it looks like there’s been some turnover already from last year’s squad. Gone from this season’s roster are goalkeepers Martha Gallardo, and Anjuli Ladrón De Guevara, defenders Isela Parra and Ana Lara, midfielders Maria Barajas, Sarai Kim, Nubia Ayala, Ericka Soto, Lesslianel Horta, Mitzy Ortega, and Brenda Sosa, and forwards Shiela Pulido, María Juárez, and Yael Huezo.

In are defenders Adriana Calzadillas and Alondra Carmargo, midfielders Marisol Luna and Yalu Mondragon, and forwards Tania Camargo and Luisa Ortega.

Xolos Femenil also now has an Instagram page, which seems like a good way for the club to connect with fans. If you’re on Instagram, give them a follow.

Head Coach Andrea Rodebaugh will be part of the The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018 panel in the Best Player category. Also on the panel will be other notables such as Sissi, Nadine Kessler, Sun Wen, and Mia Hamm.

Xolos Youth

The Xolos Academy in New Jersey is conducting tryouts for kids ages 7-14. The U12 Boys team was ranked 81st out of 354 in the state of New Jersey.