This Saturday, the Tijuana Xolos will face Chivas de Guadalajara away from home in a week 15 matchup in the Copa MX Apertura 2017.
There are only three games left in the regular season and there is a lot riding on the match for Club Tijuana. The game will be a matchup between two teams that are almost polar opposites of each other and are run in completely different ways.
Both teams have found financial stability and are among the most valuable soccer teams in all of America, but have different business models from one another.
Chivas is a historic side and has lived with the tradition of only allowing Mexican-born players to play for the team.
In contrast to this, the Tijuana Xolos’ best players have come from South America with the precise scouting network the team has had over the years. Thus, there have not been many notable Mexican-born players to play for the border city side and only three have also played with Chivas.
Here is a look at the three players have played for Chivas de Guadalajara and Xoloitzcuintles de Tijuana.
Arce had a very long and successful career in Mexican soccer ranging from 2000-2016. The Mexican midfielder was born in Tijuana and in 2011 achieved his dream of playing for a professional team in his native city by signing for the Xolos. Arce stayed there until 2014 and became a staple for the team, controlling the midfield and being a vital part of the Apertura 2012 championship.
After his time in his native Tijuana, Arce moved on to Guadalajara to play for Chivas, where he played until 2016. He was not living his best moment when he arrived with his new team as he was in his final years before playing for Sinaloa and finally calling it quits. Arce is now part of the front office for Club Tijuana and is still remembered dearly by the Xolos’ fans.
Luis Ernesto Michel
As opposed to Fernando Arce, Luis Michel lived his best moments with Chivas and then came to Xolos in the final stages of his career. The goalkeeper played with Los Rojiblancos from 2003-2015, but did spend several years on the bench being the shadow of Oswaldo Sanchez. Once Sanchez left Guadalajara for Santos Laguna, Michel received his chance to be the goalkeeper for Chivas and had several successful seasons.
After 252 appearances for the club, the Mexican keeper left Chivas in 2015, but has not been stable anywhere since. Michel arrived with the Tijuana Xolos in the Clausura 2017 and did not make any appearances in the Liga MX for the club. The 38-year-old is still going strong and has yet to retire, currently with Dorados de Sinaloa in the second-tier of Mexican soccer.
Jose Antonio Rodriguez
Toño just arrived with the Xolos in this Apertura 2017, coming as a loan deal from Chivas de Guadalajara. The 25-year-old has been with his hometown team since 2011, but has been shipped out on loan deals to acquire experience. Rodriguez has yet to feature in any Liga MX games for Club Tijuana, but has been a solid keeper in Copa MX games most recently being the hero in a penalty shootout against Monarcas Morelia.
Throughout the season, people have even suggested that Rodriguez deserves to start in net instead of Gibran Lajud. Chivas currently has a solid goalkeeper in Rodolfo Cota, but he may be on his way back to Pachuca since he is only on loan with the team. Los Rojiblancos may need Toño after his loan deal is up with the Aztec Canines to defend the net of his hometown team.
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.