This Thursday, it was the second and final day of the Liga MX Draft, where teams can make transactions within the Mexican league.
Thursday was meant to be exclusively for teams from the second-tier league to make deals, but the Xolos did manage to sign a player from a Liga MX team.
There were two transactions made this Thursday as Club Tijuana played its first preseason training match in Mazatlan, Sinaloa. That game ended 3-3 between the Xolos and Dorados de Sinaloa as it was learned later that day that Mauricio Cuero was departing the club and Mateus Gonçalves was coming in.
Cuero had been one of the most disappointing players in this Apertura 2017 as he only played in one game with the main squad and mainly played with the U-20 squad. The one game he played was a dreadful one for him and Xolos as the Aztec Canines took a 2-0 loss to Cruz Azul at home in the opening game of the tournament.
The Colombian winger was dealt with Ascenso MX side Tampico Madero, who are considered contenders in that league. Cuero did need a change after a very poor season and perhaps he can get back on track in Mexico’s second-tier league.
The player that was brought in was one with similar characteristics as Cuero, and unfortunately, one that might have the same fate as him.
Mateus Gonçalves was officially announced as Club Tijuana’s newest signing, coming over from Liga MX team Toluca. The Brazilian winger is very quick and can be skillful, but is far more suited as a role player off the bench. The problem with this is the 9/9 rule, especially with a roster built like Xolos. This rule enforced in the Liga MX only allows nine players formed outside of Mexico and requires nine players formed in Mexico for matchday rosters.
The current ideal starting lineup for Xolos would only consist of two players formed in Mexico.
This means that the bench must be made up entirely of players formed in Mexico, leaving Mateus Gonçalves out of the matchday roster in most weeks.
The Brazilian may seem like a decent signing, but could prove to be a very wasteful one like Mauricio Cuero, Matias Pisano, and Enzo Kalinski proved to be in past tournaments.
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.