Tijuana Xolos conclude preseason with win, Corona debuts, Romero shines

Miguel Herrera Xolos 2023

Credit: Xolos

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Braian Romero 2023 Xolos
Credit: Xolos

This Saturday, June 24, the Tijuana Xolos played their fourth and final preseason game ahead of the Liga MX 2023 Apertura season, which starts on Friday, June 30, for the border city side. Club Tijuana defeated Queretaro 2-0 at the Estadio Caliente to conclude a four-game preseason with two wins, a loss, and a draw.

The border city club held most of its preseason in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, where they played three of their four games. The first of the three games in Sinaloa was a 2-2 draw against Santos Laguna, where academy player Daniel Vazquez and Kevin Castaneda scored the two goals for the Prehistoric Dogs. Castaneda’s goal came from an impressive long-range strike, and it will be interesting to see if he gets more playing time than the seven games (two starts) that he had last season.

The Aztec Canines’ second game in Mazatlan was a 2-0 victory against Dorados de Sinaloa, where Braian Romero and Joaquin Montecinos scored the goals in the game. Montecinos is no longer with Club Tijuana, as he signed with Queretaro, but Romero had a very nice preseason.

In the final matchup in Mazatlan, against Mazatlan FC, the Tijuana Xolos suffered their one and only defeat this preseason. Brian Romero scored the lone goal for the Border City Dogs in the loss to Mazatlan, which was his second of the preseason.

The last game of the preseason for Club Tijuana was held a day after the official team presentation for the 2023 Apertura season. Jose de Jesus Corona arrived late Friday night in Tijuana and played in his first game for the border city side this Saturday.

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Corona kept the clean sheet, while the goals in the 2-0 victory were provided by Braian Romero and Alejandro Martinez. The biggest story of this preseason for Xolos was Braian Romero, as he had a very lackluster 2023 Clausura campaign with one goal scored in 13 games, and now scored three goals in four games this preseason. Club Tijuana will have a very intriguing attack this season and will have a lot of internal competition for starting roles in the offense, with Alexis Canelo, Braian Romero, Carlos Gonzalez, and Lucas Cavallini all on the team.

The signing of 42-year-old “Chuy” Corona was controversial, but the Xoloitzcuintles do need a goalkeeper for the start of the season, while Antonio Rodriguez is at the Gold Cup with the Mexico national team. Corona has a wealth of experience to offer, but has shown that he can still be important to his team between the sticks.

Club Tijuana will begin its 2023 Apertura season at the Estadio Caliente on Friday, June 30, against Pumas UNAM, as legendary Xolos’ manager Antonio Mohamed returns to the border city with the Mexico City team.

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