[AMERICANS ABOARD] On Friday, ESPN announced its schedule of Liga BBVA Bancomer MX games it will air on ESPN Deportes during the Torneo Apertura that kicked off Friday, and they include 11 Tijuana games -- eight on Fridays. If the Xolos' 3-3 tie with Atlas is any indication, they will be required viewing for American fans. The debut of U.S. U-18 Paul Arriola, who brilliantly set up Argentine forward Dario Benedetto's third goal for Xolos just four minutes after entering the game, was just part of a wild evening at the Estadio Caliente.
In his league debut, Benedetto needed just six minutes to chip Atlas keeper Alan
Lopez and did it again in the 18th minute. After Atlas pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, the action slowed down until it reached the hour mark.
But the insertion of
Arriola, who only months ago was in the LA Galaxy academy program and planning on enrolling at UCLA in the fall, changed all that.
He beat two defenders and cut out two more defenders
with a pass that set up Benedetto for his hat trick.
"I always wanted to be a pro," Arriola told the San Diego Union Tribune. "Things worked out better than expected tonight."
Mexican Vicente Matias Vuoso was not to be outdone, scoring on a brilliant Chilena when he played the ball off his chest for his second goal and feeding Edson Rivera for the tying goal in the 84th minute.
It was also a memorable evening for both coaches -- Jorge
Almiron making his Tijuana debut and Atlas coach Omar Asad, who was ejected after Rivera's goal.
Arriola was one of three American-born
players to play for the Xolos. Greg Garza and Bruno Piceno both started.
Xolos' three U.S. internationals
did not play. Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo is with the national team for the Gold Cup quarterfinals, while newcomer
Hercules Gomez, who was replaced on the national team after the group stage, is sidelined with a knee injury that may require surgery.
Benedetto Goal #3: