“Hipster” had a stint with Puebla in the Clausura 2014 and played with the Prehistoric Dogs in the 2015-2016 cycle. The Xolos struggled during Guzman’s tenure as the team finished 17th in the Apertura 2015 and 14th in the Clausura 2016. The 23-year-old fullback still has a full career ahead of him and is currently a consistent starter with Monarcas Morelia.
Arango played with Puebla from 2003-2004 and a decade later played with the Xolos from 2014-2015. The Venezuelan midfielder scored eight goals for La Franja in 36 appearances and 11 goals in 45 appearances for the border city side. El Xolaje will remember Arango for his amazing free kick ability that may have been the best the team has ever seen.
Herculez is now known for being a pundit on ESPN FC, but before that, had a decent playing career in the MLS and Liga MX. The American striker first broke onto the scene in Mexico with Puebla in 2010, where he managed to score 10 goals in 15 appearances. That was his peak in Mexican soccer as he never reached that form in his Liga MX career again. The California native played for Club Tijuana in the 2013-2014 cycle and is widely considered one of the Xolos’ worst signings ever as he failed to score in 20 league appearances with the team. Herc eventually returned to Puebla in the Clausura 2015 tournament, where he scored just a lone goal in 13 league appearances. But he was an important player for La Franja in their Copa MX championship run with four goals in five games during the group stage of the competition.
The Brazilian midfielder will be remembered for his days with Pumas UNAM and his signature long blonde hair. But Xolos’ fans will also remember Leandro as he was part of Club Tijuana’s Apertura 2012 championship team and the first Liga MX team in 2011. Augusto played with the Aztec Canines from the Apertura 2011 to the Clausura 2013 and was a real leader for the Xolos in their initial years in the Liga MX. The South American playmaker had a brief stint with Puebla in the Apertura 2013, where he only played in seven games.
“El Homie” is one of three American players on this list and another member of the Xolos’ Apertura 2012 championship team. Like Leandro Augusto, Castillo played just seven games with Puebla, but the New Mexico native had his short stint with Los Camoteros in the Clausura 2011. The American fullback played with the border city team from 2012-2014 and was always a consistent starter during his tenure at the club. Castillo is now with the Colorado Rapids in the MLS after over a decade in the Liga MX with several different clubs.
The Argentine striker was teammates with Leandro Augusto on Puebla in the Apertura 2013 and with Augusto and Castillo on the Xoloitzcuintles in the Apertura 2012 title-winning team. “Chango” scored just three goals in 16 appearances for Puebla in 2013, but managed to score 16 league goals in two stints with the Xolos from 2012-2013 and from 2014-2015.
The last Apertura 2012 champion on this list is Duvier Riascos, who played with Puebla in the Apertura 2011 and with Club Tijuana from the Clausura 2012 to the Clausura 2013. Puebla was Riascos’ first team in Mexico and he quickly received attention because of his signature goal celebration that resembles the slithering of a snake. The Colombian striker scored six goals in 16 appearances with La Franja and 18 goals in 46 appearances with the Border City Dogs. Riascos was key to the Xolos’ championship team as he was clinical in the attack and created a deadly duo with Fidel Martinez.
The only current Puebla player that has a history with the Xolos is midfielder Jesus Escoboza. The Sinaloa native only played 170 minutes with the border city side in the forgettable Clausura 2016 season, but already has 140 minutes under his belt with Puebla this season. Escoboza has been with La Franja since last season and is still trying to find a starting role with the team. The Mexican midfielder could feature for Los Camoteros this Friday, but it may be off the bench.
There are two current Xolos’ players that have played for Puebla, but one of them will unfortunately not play this Friday. It has been nearly a year since Yasser Corona had a career-threatening injury that almost endangered his ability to walk. Since then, the Nayarit native has been progressing, but it is still unclear if he will ever play professionally again. Corona only played in 10 league games for the Xoloitzcuintles before his injury from the Apertura 2016 to the Clausura 2017. He had much more playing time in Puebla, where he played in 32 league games and scored two goals from the Apertura 2010 to the Clausura 2011.
The American defender has been playing in Mexican soccer since 2006, but has only played with three different teams, two of which are Puebla and Club Tijuana. The California native played with La Franja in five tournaments from 2013-2015 and was a consistent starter. Orozco has not been a consistent starter for the Xolos in his entire tenure with the team that began in the Apertura 2015. But he has been starting under Diego Cocca this season and will likely play against Puebla this Friday.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. 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 local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.