One of the things I'd wanted to offer here on The Touchline was a roundup of the Mexicans abroad. A growing number of Mexican players have made their way across the pond and I'd wanted to keep track of them sort of how I do our beloved Mexican-Americans down south of the border.
Time constraints kept me from doing that but it will be a regular feature after all. Sean Grybos will contribute our weekly preview and recap of the Mexicans abroad right here on The Touchline.
Here's the first edition of El Tri in Europe.
Omar Bravo (Deportivo La Coruña): Bravo has appeared in five matches for the Spanish club. While he has yet to score in La Liga, Bravo did find the back of the net in Deportivo’s Copa del Rey match against Elche CF on November 12th. Deportivo is away at Atlético Madrid on Sunday. La Liga stats: 2 starts, 4 substitutions, 6 shots, and 4 shots on goal
Andrés Guardado (Deportivo La Coruña): Guardado has been one of Deportivo’s most consistent players throughout the beginning of the La Liga campaign. Last weekend he had the game winner against Espanyol. Will he add to his goal tally in Madrid on Sunday? La Liga stats: 8 starts, 1 goal, 3 assists, 19 shots, and 7 shots on goal
Rafael Márquez (Barcelona): Rafael has been central to the Catalan club’s return to the top of La Liga. The defense has only conceded 8 league goals and currently holds a plus 17 goal differential at the Nou Camp this season. Barcelona is away at Recreativo Huelva on Sunday.
La Liga stats: 8 starts, 1 goal, 9 shots, and 2 shots on goal
Guillermo Luis Franco (Villarreal): With the bevy of young attacking options at Villarreal’s disposal, the 32-year-old Franco has seen his minutes diminish this season. Guille has started just three out of ten matches so far. Villarreal travels to Málaga this Sunday. La Liga stats: 3 starts, 3 substitutions, 6 shots, and 1 shot on goal
Carlos Vela (Arsenal): The 19-year-old continued his impressive run through the Carling Cup with another brilliant performance (a goal and an assist) against Wigan Athletic this past Tuesday. He now has four goals in his last two Cup matches including a sublime chip over Wigan’s Chris Kirkland. Arsene Wenger believes that Vela can be an elite striker, but is the Arsenal boss ready to feature the teenager this Saturday against Aston Villa? Premiership stats: 0 starts, 4 substitutions, 3 shots, and 1 shot on goal
Nery Castillo (Manchester City on loan from Shaktar Donetsk): Trapped in loan limbo, Castillo finally had an opportunity to play in El Tri’s friendly against Ecuador on Wednesday. He started and logged 73 minutes before being substituted. With his career at City over, Nery’s next move is yet to be determined after the recent failed negotiations between Shaktar Donetsk and Chivas. Premiership stats: None
Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham Hotspur): Dos Santos will not factor into Tottenham’s match this weekend. The young attacking player is out for the next month after suffering an ankle injury in training last week. Tests revealed that the sprain will not require surgery. Premiership stats: 2 starts, 4 substitutions, 5 shots, and 0 shots on goal
Aarón Galindo (Eintracht Frankfurt): The 26-year-old center back has seen action in 8 of the club’s 12 league matches. Last season he made 21 starts for Frankfurt. On Saturday, the clubs travels to Borussia Dortmund. Bundesliga stats: 8 starts
Pavel Pardo (VfB Stuttgart): Pardo has managed only 7 starts for the struggling club this season. With only one point from its last three league matches, Stuttgart is hoping for a more appropriate result at home on Saturday against Arminia Bielefeld. Bundesliga stats: 7 starts, 1 goal, 9 shots, and 1 shot on goal
Ricardo Osorio (VfB Stuttgart): Osorio has also seen action in 7 league matches for Stuttgart. Will he see action in his 8th this Saturday? Bundesliga stats: 7 starts, 1 assist, and 2 shots
Héctor Moreno (AZ): After ten matches, AZ sits in first place thanks in large part to the 20-year-old center back. The Dutch outfit has conceded only two goals at home this season. AZ looks to add to the point total this weekend against Vitesse Arnhem. Eredivisie stats: 10 starts
Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven): Salcido has factored into seven league matches for 5th place PSV. After his strong campaign in 2007-2008, clubs from Spain and England were rumored to be interested in the defender. Salcido has committed several errors this season. Is he focused on a move to the Premiership and not on the task at hand? PSV faces off against Ajax on Saturday. Eredivisie stats: 7 starts
Francisco Javier Rodríguez (PSV Eindhoven): "Maza" remains in the transition phase as he acclimates himself to Dutch football having come over this summer from Chivas. With two capable center backs in front of him on the depth chart, it could be a while before Maza is a consistent figure in the starting eleven. PSV faces off against Ajax on Saturday. Eredivisie stats: 2 starts and 1 substitution