Tijuana Xolos: Tijuana Loses Pillars and Makes Peculiar Signings at the Liga MX Draft

Credit: LIGA MX

The Liga MX Draft is truly a distinct event from any other event with the word draft in it.

This is not an event where sports teams gather to select the newest class of young talent from college and high school. The Liga MX Draft is an event that takes place in a resort in Cancun, Mexico where the teams gather to make all the off-season signings between teams in the Liga MX official. Teams from the Ascenso MX, which is the second tier of Mexican soccer, also gather at this event.

The Tijuana Xolos were set to lose several key players in this edition of the draft, but were expected to at least make a couple of key signings themselves. The border city side did end up losing players, but made some peculiar transfers that were certainly not expected. Of course, the first huge change in the team is that head coach Miguel Herrera is now with Club America. Argentine manager, Eduardo Coudet, serves as Herrera’s replacement for the upcoming season.

The three main players that the Xolos lost this week were Milton Caraglio, Aviles Hurtado, and Guido Rodriguez.

Caraglio went to Atlas, Aviles Hurtado to Monterrey, and Guido Rodriguez to Club America. Of the three, Guido Rodriguez had to be the biggest loss as there are few players with his capacities in the midfield. One of the biggest surprises in the draft was Club America picking up 18-year-old defender, Carlos Vargas, from the Xoloitzcuintles. Miguel Herrera debuted the youngster this past season with Tijuana and liked him so much that he brought him to Mexico City.

There were also several loan deals that were made at the event. Juan Carlos Medina’s loan spell at Club Tijuana came to an end. The Xolos loaned out Alonzo Escoboza to Puebla and the youngsters, John Requejo, Amando Moreno, and Christian Torres to Ascenso MX side, Dorados de Sinaloa.

The signings that Club Tijuana made at the Liga MX Draft were very peculiar and brought up questions. Eduardo Coudet decided to bring in Mauricio Cuero from Santos Laguna, Jose Antonio Rodriguez from Guadalajara, and Luis Angel Mendoza from Chiapas, all on loan deals.

The strangest signing was that of the goalkeeper, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, because the Xolos are not in need of a goalkeeper with Gibran Lajud being a potent keeper himself. The signings of Cuero and Mendoza were clearly to add depth to the squad, and hopefully not meant to be considered star signings by Eduardo Coudet.

One promising signing that almost happened was that of Puebla’s Alexis Canelo to the Aztec Canines. The deal was made official by the club but then fell through for unknown reasons, giving false hope to the Xolos’ faithful. The border city side is obviously looking at the international market for players to fill the huge gaps left by the pillars of the club in Aviles Hurtado and Guido Rodriguez. It will be intriguing to see what players “El Chacho” Coudet does decide to bring in and whether losing these talented players will backfire on the team. Fuerza Tijuas!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. 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 Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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