Mexicans Abroad Recap: Vela's hot streak continues, Marquez punctuates soft performance with assist

Carlos Vela netted his fifth goal in 10 games for Real Sociedad, and one division below La Liga, Anibal Zurdo maintained a scoring streak of his own.

There is no denying Javier Hernandez's goalscoring prowess – Chicharito has scored 10 goals for the Premier League's leading side this season. However, after a goalless performance in this past round of games, it might be prudent to look elsewhere to find this year's success story among Mexicans playing abroad.

Carlos Vela netted his seventh goal of the campaign for Real Sociedad over the weekend, and a beauty of a goal at that. Seven is certainly not a glamorous goal total, but the on-loan Arsenal man's versatility and solid play all around have made this a season to remember for Vela.

It is up in the air as to whether he will be able to crack the Arsenal squad next year, but if he keeps turning out these performances, there is no doubting that we may soon see him on an even bigger stage.

Chicharito plays an hour in United win

Hernandez was named to the starting lineup for Manchester United's 2-0 win at Blackburn Rovers, but was unable to find the net before being removed in the 61st minute. After Hernandez's exit, United left it late with goals from Luis Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young.

Though Giovani dos Santos has been getting the occasional look in to the Spurs team in the past few weeks, there was a more familiar story this week. He was not named to the match day squad for either of Tottenham's games – both 3-1 home wins – against Bolton in the FA Cup and Swansea City in the Premier League.

Antonio Pedroza in the same boat as dos Santos, having been unable to regularly crack the Crystal Palace squad despite occasional looks in. Last week, he missed out on the squad for both of the team's games, a 1-1 draw versus Doncaster Rovers and a 3-0 home loss to Nottingham Forest. Similarly, Efrain Juarez was not named to Celtic's squad for its 2-0 win against St. Johnstone.

Vela, Zurdo, keep hot streaks going

Carlos Vela's impressive form continued as he netted his seventh goal of the season for Real Sociedad and fifth in 10 games. The goal came in the 53rd minute, and capped off a 4-0 rout of Rayo Vallecano. It was an excellent individual effort, as Vela collected the ball just inside the Rayo half, showed great control and pace to beat his defenders, and rifled the shot into the net.

Hector Moreno played the full game as Espanyol ground out a 0-0 draw at Villarreal, leaving it six points behind Malaga in the race for a Champions League berth.

That draw did provide some hope for Pablo Barrera and Real Zaragoza, which has now won three straight games to put itself four points from safety (Villarreal is in 17th place) after being rooted to the bottom of the table for much of the campaign. However, Barrera did not make the matchday squad in his team's 2-1 win at Sporting Gijon.

In the second division, Deportivo La Coruna lost for just the second time in 2012 going down 1-0 at Girona. Andres Guardado played the whole game and received a yellow card, but the team was unable to make things happen offensively. However, it still remains comfortably on top, eight points clear in the automatic promotion places with 11 games to go.

Though Jonathan dos Santos has been unable to return to the Barcelona senior team as of late, he has been playing consistently in the second division for Barcelona B, and went another full 90 minutes in its 1-1 draw at Gimnastic.

Anibal Zurdo kept up his impressive form, tallying his third goal in five games for Guadalajara. However, it was not enough, as the team went down 2-1 at home against Alcorcon, leaving it with just a three-point cushion from the relegation places.

In the fourth division, Taufic Guarch played the final 10 minutes, but Espanyol B fell 3-1 against Olot.

Clean sheet for Ochoa, anything but for Rodriguez and Stuttgart

Guillermo Ochoa helped Ajaccio to another clean sheet in France as the Corsican outfit played out a 0-0 draw at Caen, though he only had to make two saves thanks to Caen's wayward finishing. Ochoa's opponents managed only two of their 14 shots on target.

Francisco Rodriguez played the full game in what was a memorable 4-4 draw between Dortmund and visiting Stuttgart. Though the defending left plenty to be desired, six goals in the final 20 minutes made for an instant classic.

Elsewhere in Europe, Nery Castillo continues to struggle with injury, and missed out on Aris' 1-0 loss at Panathinaikos. Edson Rivera was not in the squad as Braga's Portuguese title hopes took a hit with a 2-1 loss at Benfica, and Ulises Davila also missed out on the squad in Vitesse's 2-2 draw with AZ in the Eredivisie.

Marquez delivers an assist, but subbed at the half

In MLS, Rafael Marquez started again for the New York Red Bulls, and though he served up an assist with a cross from deep on New York's opener, he was replaced at halftime after a mostly soft performance in the middle of the field. The Red Bulls went on to win 5-2 behind a hat-trick from Thierry Henry.

Pavel Pardo did play the full 90 minutes for his team, but the Chicago Fire suffered their first loss of the season, going down 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids.

Mexican-born David Estrada went into Seattle's game against San Jose looking to match Henry at the top of the scoring charts, but found himself frustrated by an airtight Earthquakes defense, leaving him with four goals and the Sounders with their first loss of the season, a 1-0 decision. Rafael Baca started and put in an energetic 90 minutes for the Earthquakes, but did receive a yellow card.

In Colombia, Mario Garcia played the full 90 minutes in Boyaca Chico's 1-1 draw with Millonarios, but his side gave up a late equalizer to keep it pinned near the bottom of the table.