Friday, November 14, 2008

Americans in Mexico: J17 preview

The Apertura 2008 season has come down to this: one weekend that will feature numerous teams who have everything to play for. The playoffs will feature at least one American while several others may also book their ticket to the party this weekend. More than likely, though, the number of Americans still with hopes of hoisting the cup this season will dwindle significantly following the season.

Michael Orozco, San Luis at Toluca: San Luis have clinched a playoff spot. Orozco's club can finish anywhere from first to third in the playoff seedings and will play at a Toluca side that needs points to get into the postseason. Orozco has played in three consecutive games and six of the club's last eight matches. TV: Sunday 10 am Telemundo.

Jose Francisco Torres, Pachuca vs. Atlas: Pachuca need points and help to get into the postseason. Pachuca sits one point behind Santos and even a victory over Atlas would not ensure a postseason ticket for Los Tuzos. Torres is a likely starter as he has picked up three consecutive starts for Pachuca. He's played in all but two games this season though so he should factor into the game. TV: Saturday 5 pm Azteca America

Edgar Castillo, Santos vs. Atlante: Santos will need to earn their postseason pass. Santos will host group leaders Atlante and need a victory to hold off Pachuca. The positive for Castillo's Santos side is that Pachuca will have already finished their game well before the start of this one, so the pressure may not be on as much provided the Pachuca-Atlas result goes their way. Castillo will line up at his usual spot on the left as he's done for most of this season. He's started 13 games and came off the bench in three others. TV: Sunday 2 pm Azteca America

Daniel Hernandez, Jaguares at Cruz Azul: Unlike the last time these teams met, this week's game means nothing - for Jaguares anyway. Jaguares has been eliminated from playoff contention. Hernandez has been a pillar of strength for Jaguares, having played in 12 games this season. He's missed four games, two because of red cards he picked up during the season and two for an altercation he participated in, in last season's playoff loss to Cruz Azul. TV: Saturday 3 pm Azteca America

Jesus Padilla, Chivas vs Indios: Padilla may see some playing time. Chivas played midweek in Copa Sudamericana and will go down to Brazil to do the same on Wednesday. Tired legs will be a concern and thus Padilla may be around to contribute. The San Jose, Calif., native earned a start last week in similar circumstances, though he had 58 mostly futile minutes in a 2-1 loss at Puebla. TV: Saturday 5 pm Telemundo

Other games: Marco Antonio Vidal has played sparingly for Indios this season and an appearance in the season finale would be surprising... In Primera A games, Sonny Guadarrama could see his third game of action for Merida as the visit Pumas Morelos... Sammy Ochoa and Tecos host Real Colima as Ochoa looks to add to his goal total of four... Indios Chihuahua host Queretaro as Noel Castillo hopes for more playing time... Chetumal plays at Atletico Mexiquense but Miguel Gonzalez has not seen much time for them this season... Carlos Borja and Tapatio have a bye.

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