Memo Ochoa capped a memorable individual season in what was otherwise a forgettable campaign for AC Ajaccio, by leading the Corsicans out of the drop zone on the final day of the Ligue One season.
Ajaccio knew it would need a win to assure survival amidst an eight-way relegation scrap, and thanks to two early goals and four saves from Ochoa, the team did just that. The 2-0 win at Toulouse, combined with other results, left Ajaccio safe in 16th place, three points clear of the red zone. Whether the Mexican keeper, who has suitors in France and elsewhere on the continent, is around to withstand another peppering in the fall is another matter.
It was also a big weekend for a couple of England-based Mexicans, though neither player saw the field. Gio Dos Santos’ Tottenham wasn’t involved as Chelsea knocked off Bayern in the Champions League final, but the result did edge Spurs out of their hard-fought Champions League place for next season, and into the Europa League.
The developments could be a positive for Dos Santos, should Tottenham now decide to go with what its got for next season, instead of upping the ante on a Champions campaign. The reverse could be the case for Ulises Davila, as things reason to get a little more crowded at Chelsea as the Blues look to spend their way to second straight European title.
Back on the field, Andres Guardado had perhaps the busiest week of any Mexican abroad, playing two matches for nearly ascended Deportivo. The midfielder played 86 minutes on Wednesday in a 3-1 win over Las Palmas, then went 74 in a less convincing performance on the road in Jerez, which the northerners dropped, 3-2. In the meantime, Guardado was also spotted in Valencia, where it would seem he’ll be headed when the Segunda campaign closes out.
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Destined for a much longer spell in the second division, Anibal Zurdo returned from suspension to play two 90 minutes shifts this week for Guadalajara. His team dropped a midweek decision to promotion chasers Celta Vigo, before holding off Elche on Sunday, 3-2. That win moved Guadalajara to fifth from bottom, but perhaps the biggest development of the last week for Zurdo and company was Villarreal’s relegation from La Liga, meaning automatic relegation for Villarreal B from the Segunda, and almost certain safety for Guadalajara.
Rounding out Mexican action in Spain’s second tier, Jonathan Dos Santos missed out on Barcelona B’s loss at Numancia. The up-and-coming midfielder was suspended after seeing red midweek in a loss at Valladolid. Two losses on the week leave Barcelona B squarely in tenth with 53 points.
Back in the Americas, Pavel Pardo put in his usual 90 minutes for Chicago in MLS action, playing a more active role than usual in the attack. The former Mexican international had a long range effort well saved in the first half as the Fire fell at Portland, 2-1. South of there in San Jose, Rafael Baca contributed an active 70 minutes on the right of midfield in the Earthquakes’ 1-1 tie with Columbus.
Finally, El Tri call-up Rafa Marquez was out with another injury for New York as the Red Bulls rolled to their fifth straight win, a streak which began with the long-time Mexican captain out suspended. New York came from behind to top Montreal, 2-1, on Saturday night. Since his return, Marquez has found it difficult to break back into a thin Red Bulls lineup, fueling speculation about a potential summer move.