FC Juarez Host Defending Champion Tigres, Locomotive Travels to Monterey
Another big soccer weekend in the local professional landscape. FC Juarez and El Paso Locomotive FC will both play this Saturday night. The Bravos will host defending champion Tigres at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium in what will be their home opener for the 2023 Apertura season of Liga BBVA MX. The Locos will travel to northern California to face Monterey Bay FC.
Bravos with the shocker in week 1
FC Juarez had the surprise result in the opening week of Mexican soccer last weekend. The Bravos faced Club America in their season opener on the road at Estadio Azteca, and FC Juarez came back from a 1-0 deficit and defeated the most hated team in Mexican soccer by the score of 2-1 to pull off the upset.
Both goals for the Bravos came in the last 10 minutes of the match. It was the first time FC Juarez defeated America since 2020. Forward Aitor Garcia who was making his debut for the Bravos, as he was acquired during the off season, scored in the 86th minute. Angel Zapata, also making his debut, put away the game winner in the 5th minute of stoppage time.
Tigres comes into the Borderland as the defending league champion. They defeated Chivas earlier this spring. Last week in their season opener they hosted Puebla in San Nicolas de los Garza and played to a 1-1 draw.
Coming into Saturday night, Tigres star forward Andre-Pierre Gignac is questionable for the match and will most likely not play. This could be a lucky break for the Bravos who have long suffered playing against Gignac.
Good fortune continues to accompany FC Juarez when it comes to the personnel available for their opponents. Last week against Club America, America had six starters out due to national team call ups, injury or red card suspensions.
Saturday’s match is scheduled for a 6:05 p.m. kickoff and will be televised nationally via stream on VIX.
Locos head west
El Paso Locomotive FC will head to the west coast to face Monterey Bay FC in a match that will mark the midway point of their season. El Paso is coming off of a loss to their most hated rival New Mexico United, 1-0, last Saturday in downtown El Paso.
The loss also snapped El Paso’s 12-match unbeaten streak.
The Locos will look to get back into the business of accumulating points this Saturday night when they face Monterey for the first time this season. Despite the loss this past weekend, Locomotive did not drop in position in the standings table and remained in second place in the western conference of the USL Championship.
Monterey Bay goes into this week’s match coming off of a defeat to Orange County SC by the score of 3-1. Monterey is currently in 5th place in the western conference with 26 points on the season.
The Locos prepared through the 4th of July holiday for Saturday’s match. Head coach/technical director Brian Clarhaut is happy with how his team has responded after their most recent loss.
“(They’ve had) a great attitude, a great response. (It was) a great wake up call. The boys have responded well. I’ve seen a little more intensity, a little more juice and a little bit more competition. So it’s been a great response.” Clarhaut said.
As for how he sees the opponent this weekend, Clarhaut said, “They’re a team that scores a lot of their goals on transition. Unfortunately, against New Mexico, we conceded the game winner on transition. We need to be super disciplined when we have the ball, we need to be organized and structured in a way to be successful when we do lose the ball in order to minimize their threat. That’s what they’re about, they score a lot of their goals on offensive transition.”
Saturday’s match is scheduled for a 8 p.m. MST kickoff. As usual, the match will be televised nationally via streaming on ESPN+.