[AMERICANS ABROAD] No foreign country has proved a more fertile ground for developing American players than Mexico. A dozen Americans played in the Liga MX in
2012-13 -- the most ever in Mexico's top league -- and nine of them have spent their entire pro careers at Mexican clubs. Mexico has also proved to be an important stop for U.S. internationals in
search of continuing their international careers. Herculez Gomez and DaMarcus Beasley have parlayed success south of the
border into starting jobs on the national team.
One only needs to look at recent call-ups to U.S. national teams to see Mexico's importance.
Four Mexican-based players -- Tijuana's Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona, plus Beasley and Gomez -- were called up for the upcoming series of five matches.
Castillo and Corona started for Tijuana, and Greg Garza, who played in Portugal and Brazil before moving to Mexico, also made key contributions as the Xolos won the 2012 Torneo Apertura. Tijuana is still alive in the Libertadores Cup.
After debuting for Monterrey this spring, Texan Alonso Hernandez was called up for the U.S. U-20s' trip to France. Benji Joya, who played four games for Santos in the Torneo Apertura, captained the U-20s in the Concacaf Under-20 Championship final against Mexico.
The record for Americans to play in a top foreign league in one season was set in 2006-07 when 14 Americans (including Giuseppe Rossi) played in the English Premier League.
Americans in Mexico, 2012-13:
GP/G PLAYER (CLUB)
33/8 Herculez Gomez (Santos)
33/0 Edgar Castillo (Tijuana)
32/0 Joe Corona (Tijuana)
31/4 DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)
30/1 Jose Torres (Pachuca/Tigres)
25/1 Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis/Puebla)
10/2 Greg Garza (Tijuana)
7/0 Jesus Padilla (Guadalajara)
5/0 Sonny Guadarrama (Atlante)
4/0 Benji Joya (Santos)
3/0 Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey)
1/0 Ventura Alvarado (Club America)
Note: 2012 Torneo Apertura and 2013 Clausura, first phase and playoffs.