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Cuauh’s golazo in the MLS, a bittersweet moment for Hugo at the Bernabeu, injuries to important Tricolor regulars, and a brace for Maribel Domínguez in the Superliga femenina of Spain.

By César García

The stage was set for the return of the pentapichichi to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.  Almería coach Hugo Sánchez was overwhelmed by the reception from the Real Madrid faithful, but while he received a standing ovation for his past merengue glories he also suffered a convincing defeat for his current efforts.  

In the latest call-up list for the upcoming Hexagonal matches with Costa Rica and Honduras, México manager Sven-Göran Eriksson disregarded player injuries, poor fitness and lack of playing time when selecting his six foreign-based players.

Both Carlos Salcido and Giovani dos Santos suffered knocks over the weekend and their participation against Costa Rica is doubtful.  

After scoring his first goal with Ipswich Town midweek, Giovani’s weekend participation was limited to 25 minutes after sustaining a groin injury, but has since reported with el Tricolor.  On the other hand, Salcido has to wait it out in Eindhoven where club doctors will examine the extent of his lower back injury.

Nery Castillo saw his first minutes of action with Shakhtar since the match against the United States.  The speedy striker recovered from a month long injury layoff and needed a phone call from Eriksson to Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu to see any minutes of football before the upcoming Hexagonal fixtures.  Everyone knows that Castillo brings something different to the attack of El Tri, but do 11 minutes of playing time suffice a national team call-up?  Or, will rushing a recovery once again prove a setback for Nery Castillo’s career?

The remaining three European-based players are Depor’s Andrés Guardado, Stuttgart’s Ricardo Osorio and Arsenal’s Carlos Vela.

With the start of the MLS season this week, midfielder Mariano Trujillo and striker Eduardo Lillingston are the newest legionarios.  They join the legendary Claudio Suárez on Chivas USA, who earlier this week reversed his decision to retire and play on for one more season at the age of 40.

One of the highlights was Cuauhtémoc Blanco’s free-kick golazo in the dying minutes of the Chicago Fire season opening victory at FC Dallas.  Blanco came in as a second half sub and only played 12 minutes due to a sore knee, but continued to display his great talent and unwavering commitment for the Windy city club.

On a side note, after many rumors circulated about a possible move for defender Jaime Durán to Greek football and then to Necaxa, this week he was officially signed by the rojinegros of Atlas for the remainder of the Torneo Clausura 2009.  After his failed move to Greece, Durán returned to Mexico and started training with Tecos, but a season ending injury to Eduardo Rergis opened the doors for a return to his former club.

EUROPE

SPAIN
LIGA BBVA
— Week 28

Coach Hugo Sánchez, UD Almería
3/22: UD Almería 0-3 Real Madrid

Rafael Márquez, Barcelona
3/22: Barcelona 6-0 Málaga (90 minutes)

Andrés Guardado, Deportivo La Coruña
3/22: Deportivo 1-1 Real Betis (75 minutes)

Guillermo Franco, Villareal

3/21: Villareal 2-0 Athletic Bilbao (Substitute, Not Used)

SUPERLIGA FEMENIL — Week 25
Maribel Domínguez, Euromat Unió Esportiva L'Estartit
3/22:  L’Estartit 4-1 Sporting de Huelva (90 minutes, 2 goals)

SEGUNDA DIVISIÓN “B” — Group 1 — Week 30

Juan Seguro, Real Unión Club de Irún
3/21: Real Unión 0-0 Zamora CF (28 minutes)

Javier Iturriaga, SD Lemona (on loan from UD Salamanca)
3/21: SD Lemona 0-3 Racing Club Ferrol (No Activity - Injured)

ENGLAND
PREMIER LEAGUE
— Week 30

Carlos Vela, Arsenal
3/17: FA Cup —  Arsenal 2-1 Hull City (64 minutes)
3/21: Arsenal 3-1 Newcastle United (Substitute, Not Used)

FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP — Weeks 39 & 40

Giovani Dos Santos, Ipswich Town (on loan from Tottenham Hotspurs)
3/17: Ipswich 1-1 Burnley (90 minutes, 1 goal)
3/21: Ipswich 0-0 Watford (25 minutes)

GERMANY
BUNDESLIGA
— Week 25

Ricardo Osorio, VfB Stuttgart   

3/21: Stuttgart 2-0 Hertha Berlin (Substitute,  Not Used)

NETHERLANDS
EREDIVISIE
— Week 28

Carlos Salcido, PSV Eindhoven
3/21: PSV 2-0 Vitesse Arnhem (65 minutes)

Francisco Rodríguez, PSV Eindhoven
3/21: PSV 2-0 Vitesse Arnhem (Substitute, Not Used)

Héctor Moreno, AZ Alkmaar
3/22: AZ 0-0 Feyenoord Rotterdam (No Activity - Injured)

TURKEY
Süper Lig
— Week 25

Antonio De Nigris, Ankaragucu
3/21: Ankaragucu 0-2 Kayserispor (84 minutes, 1 yellow card)

UKRAINE
PREMIER LEAGUE


Nery Castillo, Shakhtar Donetsk
3/19: UEFA — Shakhtar 2-0 CSKA Moscow (Agg 2-1) (No Activity - Injured)
3/22: Shakhtar 1-0 Vorskla (12 minutes)
Shakhtar Donetsk advanced to the quarterfinal round of the UEFA Cup and will face Marseille on April 9.

HUNGARY
NB II (Nemzeti Bajnokság II)
Juan “Kichi” Pérez, FC Tatabánya
3/21: FC Tatabánya 1-0 FC Ajka (90 minutes, 1 goal)

AMERICAS

MLS
— Week 1

Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Chicago Fire
3/21: Chicago Fire 3-1 FC Dallas (11 minutes, 1 goal)

Eduardo Lillingston, Chivas USA
3/21: Chivas USA 2-1 Colorado Rapids (46 minutes)

Claudio Suárez, Chivas USA
3/21: Chivas USA 2-1 Colorado Rapids (Not Considered)

Mariano Trujillo, Chivas USA

3/21: Chivas USA 2-1 Colorado Rapids (90 minutes)

COLOMBIA
COPA MUSTANG 1
— Weeks 8 & 9

Mario García, Boyacá Chicó FC
3/18: Libertadores — Chicó 3-0 Universidad de Chile (90 minutes, 1 yellow card)
3/19: Boyacá Chicó 0-0 Atlético Junior (Not Considered)
3/22: Boyacá Chicó 2-2 Deportes Quindío (90 minutes)

ECUADOR
Primera A de Ecuador

Carlos Morán, Club Deportivo Cuenca

3/17: Libertadores — CD Cuenca 3-1 Deportivo Táchira (90 minutes)
3/22: CD Cuenca 1-2 Barcelona (90 minutes)

EL SALVADOR
Torneo Clausura 2009
— Week 10

Arturo Albarrán, CD Águila
3/21: CD Águila 2-0 Luis Ángel Firpo (No Activity - Suspended)

José Luis Osorio, Club Deportivo Chalatenango
3/22: Chalatenango 1-0 Alianza FC (Not Considered)

Manuel Luna García, Club Deportivo Chalatenango
3/22: Chalatenango 1-0 Alianza FC (Not Considered)

PERU
Primera Profesional de Perú
— Week 6

Rodolfo Espinoza, Universitario de Deportes
3/18: Libertadores — Universitario 2-2 San Luis (Not Considered)
3/22: Universitario - Alianza Lima (90 minutes)

Nathaniel Revetria, Sport Ancash (on loan from River Plate Uruguay)
3/22: Sport Ancash 1-0 Coronel Bolognesi (Not Considered)

VENEZUELA
Primera División
— Week 10

Rodrigo Prieto, Caracas FC
3/22: Caracas 3-1 Carabobo (No Activity - Suspended)

Gerardo Torres, Caracas FC
3/22: Caracas 3-1 Carabobo (Substitute, Not Used)

Junior Madrigal, Carabobo FC
3/22: Carabobo 1-3 Caracas (90 minutes)

--César García's "Mexicans Abroad" report appears every Monday on Goal.com. Contact him with any questions or comments at: cesar.garcia@goal.com.

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