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Xoloitzcuintles ready for Copa MX action

Xolos players train at the CIX prior to travelling to Cuernavaca, Mexico to face Zacatepec Siglo XXI.
Xolos players train at the CIX prior to travelling to Cuernavaca, Mexico to face Zacatepec Siglo XXI.

After crushing Zacatepec Siglo XXI 3-1 last week in the first game of fixture 1 at the Caliente Stadium, Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente are ready for the return leg. Xolos travel Morelos state to take on their Ascenso MX rivals at the Centenario Stadium in Apertura 2014 Copa MX.

The national cup qualifies the winner to play for the Supercopa MX against the Clausura 2015 Copa MX winner. The winner of the Supercopa MX becomes Mexico 3 in the Copa Libertadores draw. The team that holds Mexico 3 has a playoff against South American completion to enter the group stage of the Libertadores, the America’s oldest soccer competition. Mexico is allowed three berths in the competition that includes powerhouse teams like Argentina’s Boca Jrs. and Brazil’s Internacional de Porto Alegre.

Based on the game that took place at the Caliente Stadium in the first game, Xolos have a substantial advantage. Xolos Coach Cesar Farias sent a team to the field that was able to dominate their lower division rival. Argentine Dario Benedetto had an excellent game against Zacatepec. He was quick to recover the ball and take it deep into firing range. If he would take the time to shoot instead of looking for an open teammate all the time, Xolos would have an even bigger lead.

The team has several youth players who could make a difference on the pitch. Goalkeeper Gibran Lajud needs to be more attentive. No discredit to Humberto Guzman who received an excellent pass for goal. Lajud needs to know how to position his defense properly, which left Guzman unmarked leading to the goal against.

The other player that Farias needs to try more is American Paul Arriola. The 19 year-old makes a big difference when he is on the pitch. He constantly beats his markers to get within close range. The Copa MX is a perfect competition for Arriola to prove himself.

Xolos have a quick turnaround this week and will take on Monarcas Morelia at the Morelos Stadium on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. The Aztec dogs are still looking to win their first game in La Liga MX after two losses and one draw.