Tijuana Xolos: Montecinos, Lopez to Queretaro, Balanta to Xolos

Credit: Xolos

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Joaquin Montecinos Queretaro
Credit: Queretaro

The Tijuana Xolos have had a busy transfer window ahead of the 2023 Apertura season and stayed busy this Thursday, June 22, with some moves with Queretaro.

Joaquin Montecinos has officially joined Queretaro from Club Tijuana. Fox Sports Mexico reporter Blanca Rios has reported that Lisandro Lopez will also join Queretaro and that Club Tijuana will receive Kevin Balanta.

Montecinos was a fan favorite with the border city team and provided five goals and three assists in his three seasons with Xolos. The Chilean attacker scored just one goal last season but only started four games, as he never really found a consistent starting role.

Lisandro Lopez is yet to be officially announced by Queretaro at the time of writing, but Fox Sports Mexico is close to both teams, and the information given by Blanca Rios is very reliable. Lopez was a consistent starter for Club Tijuana in his tenure at the club and was the current team captain.

The Argentine defender started 15 games with Xolos last season but was benched in a couple of games by Manager Miguel Herrera. Lopez played in his usual center-back role but also played as a defensive midfielder for “Piojo” Herrera in some games. The South American played in 40 games with Club Tijuana and was even selected to the Liga MX All-Star team that faced the MLS All-Stars in 2022.

Lopez has great leadership along with a strong attacking presence, as he scored eight goals in his 40 league games played with the Xoloitzcuintles.

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Lopez’s replacement in what appears to be a straight swap deal between Tijuana and Queretaro is 26-year-old Colombian Kevin Balanta. Balanta, like Lopez, can play as both a center-back and defensive midfielder but played exclusively as a center-back with Queretaro this past season.

The Colombian defender already had a previous stint with Club Tijuana, where he played mostly as a defensive midfielder. Balanta now joins the team to reinforce the backline after allowing 29 goals in the 2023 Clausura season with Lisandro Lopez and company.

This is the second move of this transfer window to reinforce the defense, as Club Tijuana previously signed right-back Diego Barbosa. Club Tijuana has now added Kevin Balanta, Diego Barbosa, Carlos Gonzalez, Christian Rivera, and Fernando Madrigal this offseason. The Border City Dogs have also now lost Joaquin Montecinos, Lisandro Lopez, Jose Juan Vazquez, and Federico Lertora ahead of the 2023 Apertura campaign.

Head Coach Miguel Herrera is surely not done with the signings just yet, as he looks to build the team he needs to compete this season. Club Tijuana will have an event presenting the team and new uniforms this Friday, June 23, in downtown Tijuana, and it will be interesting to see if any new signings are announced.

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