Tijuana Xolos Team News: Departures, Call Ups & Toronto FC

Credit: Xolos

The Tijuana Xolos are flying high, currently third in the Liga MX Clausura 2018 with eight points. The border city team is also yet to concede a goal and is coming off a dominant 2-0 win against Puebla in Week 4 of the competition. There has been a lot of news surrounding the Aztec Canines recently, including some departures and call-ups to the Mexico national team. Here is a rundown of that news.

Departures

There have been four recent departures from Club Tijuana, including one player that made a surprising move to Europe. Alejandro Donatti, Enzo Kalinski, and Matias Pisano all made moves back to their native Argentina. Donatti joined former Xolos’ manager Eduardo Coudet at Racing Club and the centre-back already debuted for his new team this past Sunday. Midfielder Enzo Kalinski joined Banfield while Matias Pisano is now at Talleres de Cordoba with former Xolos’ captain Javier Gandolfi. Matias Aguirregaray has also departed Diego Cocca’s team, but made the surprising move to Las Palmas in Spain.  The most notable departures had to be Alejandro Donatti and Enzo Kalinski as both players could have still benefited the Xoloitzcuintles.

Gibran Lajud

The Xolos’ goalkeeper was called up to the Mexico national team and could get some minutes in El Tri’s match against Bosnia this Wednesday. Lajud has had an amazing season so far as Club Tijuana has still yet to allow any goals after four games. The 24-year-old is unlikely to form part of Mexico’s roster for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but if he continues with his immense form, it will be hard for Juan Carlos Osorio to leave him off the squad.

Henry Martin

The Mexican striker scored just four goals in 61 Liga MX appearances for the Xolos from 2014-2017, but is now resurging his career at Club America. Martin is reunited with former Xolos’ manager Miguel Herrera and several other former Xolos’ players at the Mexico City side and has two goals in four games this season. The 25-year-old looks to be in the best form of his career and received a call-up to the Mexico national team along with Lajud for the match against Bosnia. Mexico does not have a surplus of talented strikers and it would not be surprising for Martin to be in the national team picture in the future if he can continue to perform.

Friendly

The Tijuana Xolos will have a friendly against MLS team Toronto FC this Wednesday at USD Torero Stadium in San Diego. The team north of the border has several talented players like Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco, and Victor Vazquez, and should provide an entertaining match against the Xolos. Diego Cocca could use this game as an opportunity to experiment with some players that do not normally get into the starting lineup like Luis Angel Mendoza, Mateus Goncalves, Alejandro Guido, and Hiram Munoz. The game should be very interesting and really serve as a good opportunity for soccer fans in San Diego to watch the team.

CONCACAF Champions League

The Xolos will play against Honduran team FC Motagua on February 21 for the first leg of a round of 16 fixture in the CONCACAF Champions League, but the game will not be in Honduras. The Central American country is currently plagued with insecurity and political issues, forcing the game to be relocated to the United States. The game will be played at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas and will be on the same date. The switch does favor Club Tijuana as the team will have to travel a lot less and not endure the weather conditions in Honduras.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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