On Tuesday evening FC Juarez introduced their two latest acquisitions, Carlos Salcedo and Emiliano Velasquez. Both play on the defensive line mostly as center defenders. Salcedo has been frequently referred to as one of the best center defenders that has come out of Mexico recently and is a regular call up to the Mexican National Soccer Team.

Reports indicate that Salcedo’s contract is for four years and worth 1.9 million dollars a year. As one of the biggest acquisitions for the Bravos this season, the question remains if he will be worth his salary as in recent history any big name acquisition that FC Juarez signs has turned out to be duds.

However, for Salcedo the circumstances might be a bit different. He is looking to come to the Borderland to be a standout and not just collect a paycheck. The media in attendance at the press conference on Tuesday was quick to ask him about the possibility of being called up to the Mexican National Soccer for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November.

Salcedo said, "Obviously we still have some time until this upcoming World Cup, if I want to be on the World Cup squad I’m aware I have to do good things here with my club."

The 28-year-old Mexican defender went on to say, "I’ve had conversations with people from the national team and Tata (Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, head coach for the Mexican National Soccer Team) made it clear, it is strictly a performance issue and I feel that coming here is the best opportunity for me to shine and earn a spot."

Salcedo concluded by saying, "It would be something very special for me to go to a World Cup representing the Mexican jersey. I’m aware that the opportunity is there for me and the only way for me to capitalize on that opportunity is to quickly adapt to this team."

A defensive dilemma

Bravos head coach Hernan Cristante will have some tough decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. While Velasquez and Salcedo may have arrived to strengthen the defensive line, the current defensive line has gotten off to quite the good start.

After two matches this season, FC Juarez is the only team not to allow a goal in 180 minutes of play in the entire Liga BBVA MX. Center defenders Ventura Alvarado and Alex Arribas have been doing things quite well early this season and have been key elements in obtaining both shutouts.

FC Juarez.
FC Juarez.

It would be rather illogical if Cristante decides to make the new acquisitions automatic starters when Alvardo and Arribas have been more than solid defensively. Plus, Velasquez and Salcedo will need time to adjust to the new team, teammates and system under Cristante.

This situation will lead to an internal competition that will be played out during the training sessions over the course of the upcoming weeks. A situation to which Velasquez said, “If they are playing well and we have to wait, then we have to wait. An internal team competition will make us all grow and be better.”

Up next: Queretaro

FC Juarez will have their 2022 apertura home opener tonight when they host Queretaro at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium. Queretaro comes to Juarez with early season struggles losing their first two matches of the season. They lost 2-0 to Pachuca in week one on the road and 2-1 to Necaxa in their home opener last weekend.

The Bravos will be trying to make it two wins in a row as they won on the road last weekend, defeating Xolos de Tijuana by the score of 2-0. Playing at home for the first time this season will surely motivate the Bravos as they look to continue to accumulate points and solidify a good start to this season.

The Bravos currently sit in fourth place in the general standings table with four points after two matches as a result of a draw in week one and a win last week. Queretaro is in dead last as a result of two losses.

Tonight’s match is scheduled to kickoff at 8 p.m. MT and will be televised on Fox Sports Deportes.

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