Tijuana Xolos: Transactions Heading Into Apertura 2018

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Credit: EVT Sports. New Xolos’ signing Jesus Angulo prepares to go on the pitch.

Tijuana, Mexico

A new Liga MX season is on the horizon as the Tijuana Xolos start off their Apertura 2018 campaign against Chivas de Guadalajara this Saturday, July 21, at the Estadio Caliente.

The Border City Dogs are usually one of the busier teams each tournament when it comes to transfers and this offseason was no different.

The Aztec Canines brought in eight new players and inclusively let go of 13 players as well.

The new signings are as follows: Julian Velazquez, Diego Rodriguez, Jesus Angulo, Luis Fuentes, Erick Torres, Gustavo Canto, Eryc Castillo and Diego Gonzalez. While the departed players are Pablo Aguilar, Damian Perez, Gustavo Bou, Ignacio Malcorra, Juan Manuel Iturbe, Michael Orozco, Luis Angel Mendoza, Jesus Chavez, Fernando Arce Jr., Jose Alberto Garcia, Julio Angulo, Mateus Goncalves and Damian Musto.

Julian Velazquez is said to be a direct replacement for Pablo Aguilar in the centre-back role, even if his defensive qualities and leadership are not close to the former Xolos’ captain. Diego Rodriguez will replace Damian Musto as the defensive midfielder on the team, Luis Fuentes is a direct replacement for Damian Perez at left-back and Eryc Castillo and Erick Torres might be able to fill the void left behind by Gustavo Bou. Castillo is the more enticing signing so far and could be a great addition to the team with his flair, pace and technical abilities.

Juan Manuel Iturbe will not be missed while Ignacio Malcorra may leave a significant hole in the midfield. But both have solid replacements in 21-year-old Mexican winger Jesus Angulo and Argentine midfielder Diego Gonzalez, who can play centrally and out on the wings. Angulo has looked great so far in preseason games and should get playing time because of the reinstated youth rule in the Liga MX.

There was a good balance of transfers this offseason for Club Tijuana, but the team clearly lost some key players like Pablo Aguilar, Gustavo Bou and Damian Musto. The defense is particularly the worrying aspect of the team now without Pablo Aguilar and Damian Perez.

Damian Musto’s presence in the midfield defensively will also be missed along with his leadership. It will be interesting to see how the team works out heading into this new tournament with some players that have never played in the Liga MX and without key players from last season.

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