Mexicans Abroad: Maza's First Touch

Amid a lack of Mexican confidence in their foreign players, and the possible repatriation of a goalscoarer, Hugo and “Maza” stood out for the legionarios.
By César García

Long-term injuries to Guardado and Moreno, lack of activity in the top European leagues coupled with less than promising performances with El Tri, have all contributed to a lack of confidence in México towards their foreign legion.

Many argue that an aura of grandiose and the scarcity of playing time on European clubs is directly affecting the national team.  Since many of Mexico’s starters are not first team regulars and have failed to consistently perform for their country.

Regardless, these players have gone far and beyond in their career to earn a spot on a roster abroad, that their weekly efforts for playing time should be noted and not completely discarded by the Mexican faithful.

In Spain, Rafael Márquez, Guillermo Franco and Omar Bravo were all included in the list for the weekend fixture, but only one of them saw minimal action. 

Unfortunately, Franco’s participation against Racing Santander was cut short, after succumbing once again to injury 17 minutes after being substituted into the encounter.  

Also, news of a possible repatriation broke out this week.  Omar Bravo may return to Mexican football for the remainder of the Torneo Clausura 2009, due to his lack of playing time with Depor.  Both Tigres and Cruz Azul may be possible destinations for Bravo, since they both have an open spot on their roster.  Cruz Azul continue to push for the striker, after they first expressed interest back in December 2008 and even reached an agreement with Chivas as the first option for Bravo if he were to return.  Despite the rumors, Bravo was included in the call-up list for Depor's midweek UEFA cup match against Aalborg.

On the positive, Hugo Sánchez praised his teams determination and bravado after Almería heroically overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat Valladolid 3-2 with nine players on the pitch.

In the Netherlands, Francisco “Maza” Rodríguez may have played only eight minutes against league leaders AZ Alkmaar, but he made his first touch count by providing the assist for the tying goal of the match.  Carlos Salcido played the full 90 minutes, but contributed with an error for the opening AZ goal.

In the Americas, both Mario García of Boyacá Chicó and Rodolfo Espinoza of Universitario from Peru, got their first taste of the Copa Libertadores with important participation.  In the following week, Rodrigo Prieto and Gerardo Torres of Venezuela’s Caracas FC will do the same when they travel to Chile to face Everton.

Coach Hugo Sánchez, UD Almería

2/15: UD Almería 3-2 Valladolid

Rafael Márquez, Barcelona
2/14: Barcelona 2-2 Real Betis (Substitute, Not Used)

Andrés Guardado, Deportivo La Coruña
2/14: Deportivo 0-0 Osasuna (No Activity - Injured)
Guardado is expected to be back in full team training in three weeks.

Omar Bravo, Deportivo La Coruña
2/14: Deportivo 0-0 Osasuna (Substitute, Not Used)
Despite being absent from training all week due to his international commitment with México, Bravo was included in the list for the weekend fixture in which he did not participate.

Guillermo Franco, Villareal
2/15: Villareal 2-1 Racing Santander (17 minutes)
Bad luck for Franco who came on as a substitute in the 64th minute, but had to abandon the pitch in the 81st due to injury.

Jonathan Dos Santos, Barcelona (División de Honor Juvenil)
2/15: Week 23: Barcelona Juvenil ‘A’ 4-1 Penya Ciutadella Esportiva

Maribel Domínguez, Euromat Unió Esportiva L'Estartit

2/15: Week 20: L’Estartit 0-6 Rayo Vallecano

Juan Seguro, Real Unión

2/15: Real Unión 1-0 Pontevedra

Javier Iturriaga, SD Lemona (on loan from UD Salamanca)
2/14: SD Lemona 0-0 Barakaldo (90 minutes, 1 yellow card)

Carlos Vela, Arsenal

Up Next — 2/16: FA Cup — Arsenal - Cardiff City
Vela was included in the call-up list for Monday’s fourth round match of the FA Cup.

Giovani Dos Santos, Tottenham Hotspurs
Up Next — 2/19: UEFA Cup — Tottenham - Shakhtar Donetsk

Ricardo Osorio, VfB Stuttgart  
2/14:  Stuttgart 3-3 Hannover 96 (Not Considered For Match)
Osorio arrived to Germany on Friday from the midweek World Cup qualifier with El Tri and was not contemplated for the Saturday match.

Carlos Salcido, PSV Eindhoven

2/14: PSV 2-2 AZ Alkmaar (90 minutes)

Francisco Rodríguez, PSV Eindhoven

2/14: PSV 2-2 AZ Alkmaar (8 minutes, 1 assist)

Héctor Moreno, AZ Alkmaar

2/14: AZ 2-2 PSV (No Activity - Injured)
Moreno hopes to be back on the field in two weeks, but the latest medical tests indicate that he is not ready to start full team training.  AZ doctors are taking the necessary precautions to avoid any injury setbacks and Moreno understands this is necessary to be back at 100%.

Süper Lig - Week 20
Antonio De Nigris, Ankaragucu

2/14: Ankaragucu 3-1 Gaziantepspor (85 minutes, 1 yellow card)
“El Tano” was unable to make his presence felt in the score against his first team in Turkish football.

Nery Castillo, Shakhtar Donetsk

Up Next — 2/19: UEFA Cup — Shakhtar Donetsk - Tottenham

NB II (Nemzeti Bajnokság II)
Jesus Flores, FC Tatabánya

2/14: Friendly: FC Tatabánya 3-2 BKV Előre


Mario García, Boyacá Chicó FC

2/10: Libertadores: Boyacá Chicó 3-0 Aurora (90 minutes)
2/14: Boyacá Chicó 1-0 Independiente Santa Fe (90 minutes, 1 yellow card)


Coach Carlos de los Cobos, El Salvador

2/11: World Cup Qualifier: El Salvador 2-2 Trinidad & Tobago

Torneo Clausura 2009 - Week 3
Arturo Albarrán, CD Águila

2/15: CD Águila 0-1 Nejapa (90 minutes)

José Luis Osorio, Club Deportivo Chalatenango
2/14: Chalatenango 1-1 Vista Hermosa (90 minutes, 1 yellow card)

Manuel Luna García, Club Deportivo Chalatenango

2/14: Chalatenango 1-1 Vista Hermosa (61 minutes)

Primera Profesional de Perú
Rodolfo Espinoza, Universitario de Deportes

2/11: Libertadores: Universitario 1-2 Libertad (79 minutes)
2/15: Universitario 2-1 Alianza Atlético (34 minutes, 1 yellow card)

Primera División
Rodrigo Prieto, Caracas FC

2/12: Caracas FC 2-1 Aragua (Substitute, Not Used)

Gerardo Torres, Caracas FC
2/12: Caracas FC 2-1 Aragua (69 minutes, 1 assist)

Junior Madrigal, Carabobo FC

Up Next — 2/19: Carabobo FC - UA Maracaibo

--César García's "Mexicans Abroad" report appears every Monday on Contact him with any questions or comments at: