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Mexicans Abroad: Tecatito shines for Porto; Chicharito close to Galaxy move

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This weekend, there was just as much action off the field as there was on the field for Mexicans abroad.

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona scored one of the best goals of the weekend, while Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is nearing a move to MLS. 

Chicharito, who is currently at Sevilla, is reportedly meeting with LA Galaxy officials on Monday to negotiate a new contract. The Spanish club have approved a near $10-million bid, a franchise-record for the MLS side. 

Here is a list of several other Mexico national team affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) outside of Mexico this weekend.


Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers —  Jimenez had a rare off-game against Newcastle United on Saturday. The forward played all 90 minutes but only registered a shot on target.

La Liga

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Sevilla — Chicharito played the final 12 minutes in Sevilla’s friendly 5-0 win over Escobedo on Sunday. It might have been his final game in Europe, as the 31-year-old striker is set to finalize a move to LA Galaxy soon.

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — Herrera started and played 53 minutes in Los Colchoneros’ Spanish Super Cup final loss to city rivals Real Madrid.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis —  Guardado took the field in the 77th minute for compatriot Diego Lainez in Real Betis’ 3-0 win win over Cub Portugalete on Saturday.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old started and played 77 minutes in Betis’ win, recording two key passes and one shot on target.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Araujo started and played 82 minutes in Celta’s 4-1 win over Merida in Copa del Rey play. The defender recorded one blocked shot and three interceptions.

Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli —  Lozano is visible not positioned highly in Gennaro Gattuso pecking order. The 24-year-old struggles to get playing time under the Italian. On Saturday, he played a minute in Napoli’s loss to Lazio.

Primeira Liga

Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Many may not be speaking about it, but Tecatito is having himself a solid season in Porto. The frenetic, crafty winger scored this beauty over the weekend:

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven —  Gutierrez played the final 45 minutes in PSV’s friendly on Saturday.

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Alvarez played the final 23 minutes in Ajax’s friendly on Saturday.

Jupiler Pro League

Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — Govea played the final 45 minutes in Zulte’s friendly on Friday.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Pedro Arce, Panionios –  Panionios were inactive over the weekend.

Gerardo Ramirez Alonso, Roda JC – Ramirez Alonso didn’t feature for Roda JC on Sunday.

Mexico’s player ratings shine after lopsided win against USMNT

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Gerardo “Tata” Martino and Co. picked up exactly where they left off: outlasting their rivals. Ironically, when nothing was on the line expect bragging rights this time around, Mexico played better than in the Gold Cup final over the summer.

[ RECAP: USMNT 0-3 Mexico ]

The Martino era only gets better with every passing day – for now.

Starting XI

Jonathan Orozco — 8 — It’s 2019, and 33-year-old Orozco recorded a clean sheet and a last-minute penalty save with El Tri. I’m sure even he can’t wrap that around his head. Nonetheless, he showed up for the few times he was called upon.

Jorge Sanchez — 7 — Sanchez can, potentially, be an integral part of the team that will compete in the CONCACAF Nation’s League next month. If so, the fullback is heading in with good standing.

Diego Reyes — 5 —  Reyes wasn’t excruciatingly poor, but one could see that he’s been lacking stability at the club level, specifically when he awarded the USMNT a penalty in the dying minutes of Friday’s game.

Hector Moreno — 7 — Despite showing some weaknesses here and there, Moreno is clearly still one of Mexico’s best defenders. (We all know the reason, but I’ll still ask.) Why is he playing in Qatar?

Jesus Gallardo (Off 87′) — 7 — Monterrey’s fullback has grown into quite the player.

Hector Herrera — 8 — Herrera now has more assists with El Tri this year than minutes with Atletico Madrid. That has to change.

Carlos Rodriguez (Off 90′) — 7 — It’s hard to appreciate a player like Rodriguez. Tonight his valiant work on both sides of the field wasn’t mesmerizing, regardless of how much one analyzes it.

Andres Guardado (Off 77′) — 7 — The captain showed glimpses of creativity, but was in the middle of the spectrum the majority of the game.

Roberto Alvarado (Off 76′) — 4 — Alvarado struggled on the field in New Jersey. Period.

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona (Off 70′) — 9 — The last time Tecatito made headlines was for his national team absence. Time to turn the page and enjoy his pristine skillfulness.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Off 87′) — 8 — It’s refreshing to see Chicharito score, especially when he’s just entered a new chapter in his legendary career.

Subs

 Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (On 70′) — 8 — Lozano is clearly Mexico’s most talented player, and everyone hopes it will remain that way for a long time.

Uriel Antuna (On 76′) — 8 — There is no one who has benefited more from the Martino era – no one.

Erick Gutierrez (On 78′) — 8 — Things have turned around for the PSV Eindhoven man, and a goal will only speed up that healing confidence.

Alexis Vega (On 87′) — n/a — J.J. Macias may be the popular choice, but Vega is the chosen one.

Fernando Navarro (On 87′) — n/a — There’s no way Navarro is complaining about playing three minutes against the USMNT at MetLife Stadium.

Orbelin Pineda (On 90′) — n/a — Any time on the field is better than nothing, I guess.

Lozano scores first Serie A goal in Napoli’s painful loss to Juventus

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Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s Napoli spell is off to the dreamiest of starts.

Making his debut at halftime, it took the 24-year-old Mexico international only 22 minutes to record his first Serie A goal.

Less than a week removed from sealing his record-breaking move to the Italian club from PSV Eindhoven, the winger’s effectiveness proved to match his pricing point, managing to slip past Matthijs De Ligt and Alex Sandro before pushing in the ball into the back of the net.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Down 3-0 in the 62nd minute, Lozano inspired a late rally from Carlo Ancelloti’s side, putting the visiting side only a goal away from Juventus, who scored two in the first half and one in the second from Cristiano Ronaldo’s first of the season. Napoli newcomer Giovanni Di Lorenzo thickened the plot, scoring a leveling goal shortly after.

Napoli’s hopes of walking out Allianz Stadium with a vital point, however, ended just short of the final whistle when the reliable Kalidou Koulibaly turned on his strengths, converting an own goal that broke the deadlock and proved to be Juventus’ game-winner.

What was a gut-wrenching loss for the Gli Azzurri against the title favorites also proved to feature plenty of silver linings, including Di Lorenzo and Konstantinos Manolas, who both scored two games into their Napoli careers.

As the minutes-per-goal ratio will tell, though, neither are quite as impressive as Lozano.

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup: Mexico names Chicharito, Carlos Vela, others on roster

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Today, the Mexico Football Federation revealed that the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup will feature an El Tri side with 11 countrymen who have played with their clubs in Europe.

Two big names for Mexico include Real Madrid forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Real Sociedad man Carlos Vela. These players will also be joined by Giovani dos Santos and his brother, Jonathan, both from La Liga side Villarreal.

For Hernandez, a move to Real Madrid originally seemed to damage aspirations of first-team soccer, but he’s begun to take advantage of his opportunities, scoring four goals and adding two assists in the month of April.

On the contrary, the elder Dos Santos and Vela have endured seasons slowed by injury, and will look forward to the Gold Cup to improve their form.

[RELATED: Possible US Open Cup fourth-round fixtures]

As far as Mexico internationals making their presence felt across the Atlantic, captain and PSV midfielder Andres Guardado has enjoyed a wonder season in the Dutch Eredivisie and was therefore named the league’s player of the year.

Another important man in the midfield for the Greens is FC Porto’s Hector Herrera, in addition to Guardado’s fellow Eredivisie player, FC Twente’s Jesus “Tecatito” Corona.

Mexico’s defense will have the services of Hector Moreno, recently subject to a $10.9 million bid from Arsenal, according to The Metro. Moreno last started for Mexico in a 1-0 friendly win over Ecuador at the LA Coliseum. Herrera’s teammate at Porto, Diego Reyes, and Miguel Layun, who signed with recently-promoted English side Watford FC in January, will also be present in the backline.

Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is still the first-choice goalkeeper despite seeing his minutes at Malaga diminish.

Twelve other players, all based domestically, will be named later in the Mexico’s Gold Cup roster.

VIDEO: Miguel Herrera is a madman, watch the Mexico manager’s amazing celebration

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After Mexico advanced to the Round of 16 by beating Croatia on Monday, manager Miguel Herrera was certainly a happy man.

You could see that. In fact his happiness levels, as well as his sky-rocketing blood pressure, soared every time El Tri scored as the Mexican national team put their poor World Cup qualifying campaign behind them to reach the knockout rounds for the sixth-straight time.

El Piojo is the pride of Mexico and his wild celebrations are worth reliving every single day. The former national team player arrived in Mexico’s time of need as their fourth coach during the qualifying period and dragged them over the line to Brazil. The stocky manner with the jolly, yet slightly frightening demeanor, has transformed Mexico’s fortunes.

[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ] 

Running around on the sideline kicking every ball with his players, Herrera is the epitome of a back-seat driver as a soccer coach. He is, by far, the most entertaining coach to watch at the World Cup. I think I would pay for my ticket just to watch his celebrations to goals and reactions to refereeing decisions alone. Tackling players to the floor, rampaging towards officials, screaming to the heavens after goals and pumping his fists like no other, how can you not love Piojo?

Watch the video above (complete with soothing music that accentuates Herrera’s wildness) to relive his epic celebrations during Mexico’s 3-1 win vs. Croatia.

The good news: Herrera and Mexico have at least one more game down in Brazil, as they face the Netherlands on Sunday for a spot in the quarterfinals. Whatever your thoughts are on Mexico, how can you not love Herrera’s passion and love for the game?

Marvelous, just marvelous. These are the kind of colorful images that will put Herrera into World Cup folklore.