Tijuana Aiming for a Rebound During a Historic Moment for the Organization

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Tijuana Aiming for a Rebound During a Historic Moment for the Organization

“It is a very important week for the club,” said Xolos’ Juan Carlos Nuñez during a press conference on Tuesday. “We all know it and it would be nice t

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The (first-ever) Xolos Podcast!

“It is a very important week for the club,” said Xolos’ Juan Carlos Nuñez during a press conference on Tuesday. “We all know it and it would be nice to give our fans a win and a trophy this tournament.”

As Nunez mentioned, there should be plenty for Tijuana to celebrate during the next few days.

On January 10th, the Liga MX club officially turned 10 years old after being founded in 2007. One decade since the introduction of the team, Xolos have been able to move up to Mexico’s first division, win a league title and host illustrious tournaments such as the CONCACAF Champions League and the Copa Libertadores.

During the same week of these festivities, Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente will also host its 200th match when Puebla comes into town this Friday night.

However, despite the obvious reasons for celebration, there are likely few Xolos fans who are feeling exuberant or thrilled after their previous performance.

Without key players such as Gabriel Hauche, Federico Vilar and Dayro Moreno in the starting XI, Tijuana stumbled in a disappointing 2-0 loss to Morelia on Saturday. Xolos struggled with ideas in the attack and stumbled with a lack of leadership moving forward.

It was an unexciting performance, and despite the current reasons to feel jubilant about the organization, many local supporters will feel hesitant towards praising the early form of their beloved Tijuana squad.

Luckily, for Xolos and their fans, manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera will be back on the sidelines this Friday after serving a one-game suspension. Embodying the exact kind of attitude and spirit that Tijuana so desperately needs, Xolos might be able to gain a convincing win with their leader back on the pitch.

It’s foolish to put too much weight on an early match in a tournament, especially in a Liga MX season, but there is undoubtedly an unexpected amount of significance that will placed upon this upcoming fixture.

10-year anniversary and 200th game at the Estadio Caliente aside, this will be the first home match for Tijuana since the dramatic ending to the 2016 Apertura in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. A tournament which also saw Xolos finish in first place of the regular season with a near-perfect record at home.

Similar to this competition, Tijuana also gained a loss in the first away game of the Apertura, and keeping that in mind, there is no reason to fault those who believe that Xolos can still pull off something incredible in the Clausura.

In order to achieve that, a victory is imperative this Friday night in the Caliente. If Tijuana wants to hold onto this idea that it can still achieve something great, even without key players from 2016, a win will be necessary during a historic moment for the club.

As for Puebla, Herrera will need to keep an eye on noteworthy players such as striker Pedro Alexis Canelo and midfielder Emilio Orrantia. Canelo, who finished the previous weekend with two goals, should be the main priority to focus on for Xolos’ backline.

Looking over at Tijuana, it will be interesting to see if the manager keeps the same starting XI after last week’s less-than-exciting match. Considering the recent loss, backup players like Henry Martin and Joe Corona might be able to sneak into a spot in the starting XI.

With a couple of milestones looming above Herrera and company, it will be fascinating to see how the squad responds this Friday night.

Predicted score: Xolos 3-2 Puebla

Predicted Xolos starting XI: