The Club Tijuana Xolos, the adopted soccer franchise for many San Diegans, faces an important test Tuesday night.
The Xolos travel to Mexico City to take on Club América, the best team in Liga MX this season — and the Xolos need an upset if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Club América has won eight of its 10 games so far this season, including all of home games. The Xolos, meanwhile, have lost their last 11 home games. If they’re going to pull the upset, they’ll likely need someone besides Fidel Martinez Tenorio, the team’s leading scorer, to step up.
The Xolos have a rabid fan base that has grown rapidly since the team’s promotion to Primera División Mexicana in 2011. The team won the Apertura tournament in 2012. Since then, the team’s strong defense has not been able to carry them quite as far. Tijuana missed the playoffs of the 2013 Clausura tournament, and lost in the quarterfinals at Copa Libertadores.
Club Tijuana has struggled to score goals consistently in this year’s Apertura tournament, and now faces a do-or-die game against the league’s best team. They have won just three of 11 matches since the beginning of the Apertura tournament, losing four times. They’ve scored just 15 goals in those 11 matches. If the Xolos are going to make another miracle run, they’ll need more than just tough defense.
The game kicks off at 6 p.m. PDT Tuesday.