Current La Liga MX champions Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente are preparing to host Club Leon for their second game of the Clausura 2013 on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. The Aztec dogs kicked-off week one with a 2-1 victory over Puebla FC at the Cuauhtémoc stadium.
Xolos Coach Antonio Mohamed brought his pupils to the field of the Caliente stadium to practice close quarters passing and intra-squad scrimmage games before moving on to a gym training session. The rojinegros are facing a squad that is not new to them. Since their existence, Xolos have faced the Panzas Verdes on 11 occasions since the Apertura 2008 in Liga de Ascenso. Xolos hold an edge over Leon with a 4 wins, 3 losses and 4 draws record.
“They’re a tough team, really good,” striker Richard Ruiz said during the team’s press time. “We were fortunate to win 3-0 at home during the playoffs. Now they are coming at us at full force. We have a good rivalry. We have to take advantage of the fact that we are at home and try to get the three points.”
Ruiz is one of several players that remain with Xolos who ascended with the team and previously faced Leon in La Liga de Ascenso.
“Ever since we were in the ‘ascenso’ division the game with Leon was considered a classic,” Ruiz added. “We have an important sports rivalry. But we also have the goal of continuing with a good pace in the tournament. We are happy we’re the champions, and we’re going to continue with the same attitude. We’re working hard because we want to defend our title.”
Argentine Cristian Pellerano also addressed the media after the practice. The midfielder scored the winning goal for Xolos against Puebla last Sunday. He stated that the team arrives to the Clausura 2013 in good form.
“You play more confident when you know your teammates,” Pellerano said. “We know each other’s movements so we know how to resolve the situations that arise on the field. This makes us look like a mature team that knows what to do on the pitch.”
After their 2-1 victory over Puebla in week 1, Xolos prepare to play on their home turf for the first time this season. During the Clausura 2013, Tijuana will defend their league title, as well as participate in the Copa Libertadores.