There are certain teams in the Liga MX that work as trade partners, making deals year after year.
Club America has done this with the Tijuana Xolos over the years, taking standout players such as Javier Guemez, Pablo Aguilar, and Dario Benedetto, just to name a few.
Pablo Aguilar actually found his way back to Tijuana this year in a swap deal that sent three Xolos players to Mexico City. Head coach Miguel Herrera was also in this cycle as he went from America, to Xolos, back to Las Aguilas. Club America is currently flying high, and some former Xolos have helped in this success as the team is first with 16 points in the Liga MX Clausura 2018.
Club Tijuana may face up to five ex-Xolos in this Saturday’s Liga MX matchup at the Estadio Azteca, and here’s who they are:
Not many Tijuana fans will remember the young defender, but he is now an important player on Miguel Herrera’s team. The 19-year-old has started five games in this Clausura 2018 at the left-back position and can also play as a centre-back. His future seems very bright as he has already received attention from the Mexico national team and will likely start this game on Saturday against the team that debuted him.
Joe Corona is another player that debuted with the Xolos and is now playing for Club America. The American midfielder was part of the swap-deal that brought Pablo Aguilar back to Tijuana, but is only on loan for a year with the Mexico City club. The San Diego native played with the Xoloitzcuintles from 2010-2015, then in 2017 again after loan spells at Veracruz and Sinaloa. He has not been starting for Miguel Herrera this year, but could sneak his way into the starting 11 this Saturday against his former team.
Aguilera played with the Xolos from 2016-2017 before being part of the Pablo Aguilar trade this year. The Argentine defender is a very strong and gritty defender that has been key to Las Aguilas’ success this year. The 28-year-old really knows a lot of these players on Club Tijuana well and could be a barrier for Tijuana’s attack in this game.
Rodriguez never received enough attention with the Xolos, but many now consider him one of the best midfielders in the Liga MX. The Buenos Aires native is still young at 23 years old, but plays beyond his years and really makes the midfield his own. He is strong, tactical, and really a complete player for Miguel Herrera. Rodriguez was one of the Aztec Canines’ best players from the Apertura 2016 to the Clausura 2017 and is now doing the same at Club America.
Martin was basically a bench warmer in his time with Club Tijuana from 2014-2017 and people were shocked when he was part of the deal that brought Pablo Aguilar back to the Xolos. Club America fans were unsure if a player like Martin was deserving of representing Los Azulcremas, but that has really changed now. The Mexican striker has five goals and two assists this season and is now even on the Mexico national team radar. His success has been one of the main storylines this season in the Liga MX after not doing anything noteworthy in his three years with the Xoloitzcuintles.