The Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, who are known simply as the Tijuana Xolos, have taken Mexico and San Diego by storm. They’ve been adopted by American fans as San Diego’s unofficial professional soccer club, with the Los Angeles Galaxy being the next closest team.
A year after unexpectedly winning the Liga MX championship, the Xolos have advanced to the semifinals of Copa Libertadores. Last night, Tijuana tied Atlético Mineiro, which features Brazilian star Ronaldinho, and must win a game in Brazil next Thursday to advance. Two championships in two years for the Xolos, which won promotion to Liga MX in 2011, would be a boon on both sides of the border. It will be a little more difficult now, but it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
Are the Chargers Ready to Compete in 2013?
• You may have thought free agency was over for the San Diego Chargers, but you’d be wrong. After losing Melvin Ingram to a torn ACL last week, General Manager Tom Telesco signed former Colts pass-rusher Dwight Freeney to a two-year contract. How much the 33-year-old has left in the tank might determine how good the 2013 Chargers can be.
• As if that wasn’t enough, the Chargers also signed veteran free agent left tackle Max Starks to a one-year contract after trying and failing to sign Bryant McKinnie. Starks is the likely starter at LT, where King Dunlap had been during OTAs, when the team returns to a normal practice schedule.
• Chargers rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen caused quite a stir this week after telling fans to follow him on Vine, a popular video-sharing website. Why? Because in his profile picture, Allen is wearing a Raiders hat. After taking a healthy dose of criticism from the fans, Allen apologized and said that he’d be more careful with what he wears in the future.
• Jerome Watson went digging through the offensive playbook of the Arizona Cardinals and found that Ken Whisenhunt likes to use “stack” formations in his offense. Click here to find out what a “stack” formation is, and why Chargers fans should be excited about it.
• Mike Klis from The Denver Post thinks the Chargers are making a mistake by shielding rookie linebacker Manti Te’o from the media. Klis speaks from experience, as part of the local media that covered Tim Tebow’s rookie season and he makes an excellent point about the media blackout affecting Te’o’s teammates.
The Padres’ Youth Movement Continues
• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko is having a tremendous rookie season for the San Diego Padres. He’s currently the third-best hitter (by OPS) and fourth-best player (by WAR) on the team, while trailing only Everth Cabrera and Yonder Alonso in plate appearances in 2013. If he keeps that up, the team might start looking to sign him to a contract extension while he’s still relatively cheap.
• Padres bloggers have fallen in love with Kyle Blanks, who is second on the team with an OPS of .811, and want to know why he isn’t getting more starts. Melvin from The Sac Bunt and Padres Public went digging through advanced stats to definitively show why Jesus Guzman should not be starting over Blanks in 2013.
• AvengingJM, who has long had a hate/love/hate relationship with Will Venable, explains why Venable shouldn’t be batting second for the Padres and decides on an optimal lineup so that Bud Black doesn’t have to waste any energy thinking about it.
Stories You May Have Missed
• USD’s Kris Bryant is apparently a man among boys, as he’s hit 30 home runs in 54 games for the Toreros. He’s not just a big power threat, either, as he’s hitting for average and getting on base with walks as well. Scouts rate him as “historic,” and he could be the second San Diego college player to be taken first overall in the MLB draft in the last few years, along with Stephen Strasburg.
• TheThinGwynn, a trading card connoisseur, took to Photoshop to see what Jedd Gyorko trading cards would’ve looked like in years past.
• Have you ever thought racing seems easy? Watch this video of a driver during a lap of the Nurburgring in the rain. I’m perfectly happy doing 65 mph on the freeway after watching that.
• GIF of the Week: LobShots found this GIF of Bo Jackson throwing out a Toronto Blue Jay at third base. I like to imagine Jackson as an equivalent of LeBron James playing baseball and/or football.
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