The second half of the Mexican First Division season begins Friday night when UAG hosts Tigres in the first of nine games scheduled for the opening weekend of play in the Torneo Clausura.
Mexico national team striker Francisco
Fonseca will debut for Tigres after just six months at
Portuguese club Benfica. Kikin rejected claims he was a failure at the
Lisbon club, for which he scored three goals in nine appearances.
"I'm very grateful to Portugal," he said. "I enjoyed it
tremendously, but this chance arose ..."
Jared Borgetti, Mexico's
all-time leading scorer with 38 goals, also returned home, joining Cruz
Azul after 18 months
abroad with English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers and
Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia. Borgetti became the first Mexican to play
in the EPL but never settled in at Bolton.
Both Fonseca and Borgetti were called up by new Mexico national team
coach Hugo Sanchez for a
four-day mini-camp beginning Sunday to prepare for the friendly against
the USA Feb. 7 in Glendale, Ariz.
Another well-known Mexican international striker to return home is Francesco Palencia, who left MLS's
Chivas USA for UNAM. Palencia told
the newspaper La Jornada that MLS shouldn't be underestimated, noting
that the league is very physical. Palencia hopes a strong showing with
Pumas -- Sanchez's former club -- will earn him a recall to the Tri.
Sanchez's roster includes eight players from Guadalajara, winner of the
fall's Torneo Apertura. Mexico's No. 1 goalie Oswaldo Sanchez, who joined Santos
from Chivas, is also in Sanchez's squad.