Tijuana Xolos: Is Milton Caraglio the Missing Piece to the Puzzle?

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Credit: Xolos Soccer

The Tijuana Xolos are currently suffering in their rebuilding phase with new manager Eduardo Coudet.

The border city side only has a point in the Liga MX Apertura 2017 after four weeks of play in the competition.

The team is trying to re-surge this season after losing some key pieces in the off-season, like Miguel Herrera, Aviles Hurtado, Guido Rodriguez, and Milton Caraglio.  The departure of Milton Caraglio was the least talked about and least worrisome this off-season. The new addition of Gustavo Bou left most people forgetting about how vital Caraglio was to the border city team. The Argentine striker departed Tijuana to make a move to Guadalajara with Atlas.

The move was very enticing for Atlas, with a potent strike partner now to go along with Matias Alustiza, who scored eight goals in the Clausura 2017. Caraglio only scored five goals in the Clausura 2017, but brought a distinct aspect that the team is now missing. The 6-foot-1 striker only has one goal and a penalty miss in this Apertura 2017, but the Xolos as a team just scored their first goal of the season this Friday.

Caraglio is excelling in other areas, other than the goal scoring department, and has proven to be an important asset to his new team.

Caraglio’s passing ability, hold-up play, and physical presence were all crucial to the Xolos’ success last season and are all areas that the team can definitely improve in. The South American forward currently has one assist and has eight passes that have led to goal-scoring opportunities.

The Argentine also provides decent defensive capabilities with his physical presence during corners and set-pieces which cannot be seen in the stats. What can be seen is that the 28-year-old has recovered the ball 30 times. This is about a third less than the current leader in that department. But the current leader is a centre-back, Pachuca’s Oscar Murillo. The fact that Caraglio has recovered the ball 30 times and plays as a striker is very respectable.

While Gustavo Bou is a much more exciting and flashy player, he does not provide these types of attributes that the team is clearly missing. Bou has a decent physical presence, but is nowhere near what Milton Caraglio provides. The Aztec Canines have really lost an option going forward without Caraglio, as crosses are not as effective without the bulky Argentine in the penalty area. While the moves of Miguel Herrera, Aviles Hurtado, and Guido Rodriguez left many worried about the state of the team, the move that might have affected the team the most from this off-season was Milton Caraglio joining Atlas.

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