MNT Aug 15, 2012
Six players on the roster have made Mexico their home for professional football, and tonight's match represents a special opportunity. A snapshot of the Liga MX'ers:
- DaMarcus Beasley: Beasley made the move to Mexico and Puebla FC in the summer of 2011. Since then, the 30-year-old midfielder has scored seven goals in more than 30 league appearances for La Franja. During his career, he has played in MLS, the Netherlands, England, Scotland and Germany before taking on a new challenge in Mexico.
- Edgar Castillo: The 25-year-old defender is the only current player to have played for both the U.S. Men’s National Team and Mexico’s senior team. Born in Las Cruces, N.M., Castillo made his debut for the Mexican national team in 2007 in a friendly against Colombia, but under a change in FIFA regulations became eligible to play for the U.S. MNT because he had yet to play in a competitive match at the senior level. Castillo switched allegiances and earned his first cap for the U.S. on Nov. 18, 2009, against Denmark. His entire professional career has been spent in Mexico, beginning with Santos Laguna in 2006 before moving to Club America in 2009. While with America, he was sent on loan to Tigres, San Luis, Puebla and Club Tijuana.
- Joe Corona: The midfielder is a teammate of Castillo’s at Club Tijuana. Corona, who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in San Diego, played one year of college soccer for San Diego State in 2008 and was a teammate of U.S. MNT call-up Steven Beitashour with the Aztecs. The 22-year-old made one appearance with Mexico’s U-22 side at the 2011 Pan American Games, but that did not tie him to the country because it was not an official FIFA competition. He scored four goals in the USA’s unsuccessful effort to qualify for the London Olympics. Corona has played for Tijuana since 2009 and helped the club earn promotion from the Mexican second division by scoring in the promotion playoff final in a 2-1 win against Irapuato on May 21, 2011. Corona also scored Tijuana’s first-ever goal in the first division. He continues to live in San Diego and commute to Tijuana.
- Herculez Gomez: Gomez spent seven years in MLS before making the move to Liga MX in January 2010 with Puebla. The 30-year-old striker has bounced from team to team, but always has worked his way into the starting lineup. Following a short spell with Puebla, Gomez moved to Pachuca and Estudiantes Tecos before landing at Santos Laguna where he helped guide the team to the Liga MX 2012 Clausura title by scoring 19 goals in all competitions. Gomez has played club alongside Mexico call-up Edgar Gerardo Lugo at both Santos Laguna and Puebla.
- Michael Orozco Fiscal: The Orange, Calif., native has spent his entire professional career with San Luis, but also gained experience on loan with the Philadelphia Union during the 2010 MLS season. He made his professional debut for the Potosinos in 2006 and made nearly 100 league appearances for the club in the last six years. He was part of the USA’s team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
- Jose Torres: The Texas native has become a mainstay for Pachuca since coming up through the youth system in 2006. Torres has made more than 100 appearances for the Tuzos since 2006. He was part of the team as Pachuca won the Liga MX 2007 Clausura championship – its last title. Torres broke into the starting XI in 2008 and has been a constant for the squad since then.