rebuildXolos Return to Tijuana With Two Wins After Double Header
International Friendlies held in San Diego — great promotion to increase visibility of fabulous team on other side of border. America’s finest city borders Mexico and real soccer fans know that great soccer can be seen minutes away in Tijuana — and many make the trek to watch games.
Club Tijuana closed out a double header on Wednesday night as its first team and reserve U20 squad were in action in San Diego. The Xolos are preparing for kickoff of the 2017 Clausura season that is set for next week and showed real dominance on the field against Albion Pros and Atlas FC.
Soccer News: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles played in a double header on Wednesday night at San Diego Mesa College. The Xolos U20 squad opened the night versus local NPSL club Albion SC PROS, while the first team concluded the night against Atlas FC of LIGA MX.
The game were well attended — with soccer fans enjoying the matches and the festive atmosphere.
The opening match saw the Xolos U20 squad edge an Albion PROS team of trialists in a 4-1 victory.
“It was great for us to get this opportunity to play NPSL’s Albion Pros,” said Raul Chabrand, Club Tijuana U20 head coach. “Anytime we can get a preparation match we want to take advantage of it and play the way we know how to play. These kids play their hearts out and this match helps them prepare for the upcoming season. It was a hard fought match and thankfully, we got the result, but there’s plenty more work to do before the start of the season. We’re thankful to Albion for being a great rival today.”
The game was highlighted by the first Albion SC Academy homegrown player debuting for the PROS — when 15-year-old forward Arman Samimi entered the match in the 60th minute. With incredible speed and confidence, the young player clearly held his own against more mature players.
Albion Pros Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski said, “It was an exciting night for us to be a part of this match with Xolos. We had a number of trialist that showed extremely well. It was a milestone day with the entry of a 15 year old into the PROS which provides full integration from our youth academy.”
“In addition, the crowd was terrific and I am excited for this group of players once we get all cylinders running and look to make a statement in both the US Open Cup and NPSL in 2017.
The Xolos first team closed out the successful double header with a 3-1 victory in a preseason friendly versus Atlas. Henry Martin scored twice and Edgar Lopez added one in stoppage time to lead the Xolos past Atlas.
Daniel Alvarez opened the scoring when he broke free on the right flank to beat Xolos goalkeeper Gibran Lajud. Alvarez finished the play after a give-and-go with Martin Barragan that set him free of his defender. Atlas took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
Guido Rodriguez, Xolos central midfielder, nearly brought the match level when he struck a shot from long range but was denied by the post in the 54th minute.
There was no missing the net for Martin when he scored the opening goal for the Xolos. He headed home a ball from Amando Moreno, tying the game 1-1.
Martin gave Club Tijuana the 2-1 lead when he beat a defender and Atlas goalkeeper Miguel Fraga one-on-one to finish with a confident pass into the net.
Just before the final whistle, Lopez added an insurance goal to close out the match.
The exhibition game between the two teams comes as preparation for the upcoming 2017 Clausura season. The Xoloitzcuintles will now continue with the rest of preseason camp before its season opener at Monarcas Morelia on January 6th.
For a city without an MLS team, soccer fans in San Diego can embrace the Xolos as a pro team with pride.
Photo Credit: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles