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Club Tijuana caps dream season with Mexican title

A year-and-a-half after securing promotion to the top tier in Mexico, Club Tijuana have become champions of Mexico.

Xolos put a dream end to their impressive Apertura campaign by beating Toluca, 4-1, on aggregate after a 2-0 victory in the second leg of the Liga MX finals on Sunday. Tijuana winning the Mexican championship not only caps off the club’s remarkable rapid rise, but also gives Xolos a berth in the upcoming Copa Libertadores tournament.

Tijuana’s two U.S. Men’s National Team players contributed in the championship-clinching triumph on Sunday night. Edgar Castillo started and went the distance while Joe Corona played 67 minutes before being subbed off. Fellow American Greg Garza did not dress.

What do you think of Xolos winning the Mexican championship? How do you see them doing in the Copa Libertadores? Think Castillo, Corona and Garza will all stay with the club during the upcoming transfer window?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Holy shnikes, I just realized there is a very real possibility of a LA Galaxy – Xolos CCL match. That would be beyond epic IF fans traveled to support their team. I haven’t walked the streets of TJ since early college (still have my picture with painted burro), but I’m down for a road trip!

  2. I watched this game last night. Don’t speak Spanish but I knew Corona and Castillo were in the game because every time the ball went to Tijuana’s left side, the announcer would say the word “gringo!” Made me proud. Good night for the Yankees. Plus, has anyone ever looked at a picture of a Xolo? That’s one scary animal. Looks like a mistake. An angry mistake. Go Xolos!

    • Haha, yeah, the Xoloitzcuintli (had to google it, of course) is the ugliest creature I’ve ever seen. I actually think fugly creatures make great mascots / team names. No one wants to mess with a Mexican hairless dog. Nobody!

  3. watched the first half of the game last nite. Castillo looked very good (announcers said much better than the first leg) but played well throughout the playoffs. Corona lined up on the left in front of him in a 4-3-3 and drifting inside often he did well to hold on to the ball and relieve the pressure (drew some fouls as well). Castillo will certainly be involved early in the hex and Corona may get his chance too- i’m not certain he’s learned to pick up the pace to match the int’l game but if he can he’s got a bright future.

    • Castillo looks like a different–far better–player than a year ago. I admit I am surprised. Corona and Boyd may be the only players from Olympic qualifying whose stock didn’t fall in that debacle.

  4. Xolos have played Galaxy and Chivas USA in exhibitons the last two years. Beat the Galaxy on penalties (when they were still in the 2nd division) and then destroyed Chivas USA (doesn’t everybody?) 5 to 1. They usually play these exhibitions between seasons, so maybe next month?

  5. Noah Delgado played for Puerto Rico and he cannot play for USA any longer. He is the captain for PR Islanders. So Saunders I dont think can play for USA anymore? I dont know.

    Have you guys heard of X-Factor Soccer Program? I am thinking to get it because i heard it gets crazy results for speed but just seeing if someone has used it before I get it.

      • But they were allowed to win the 1st division, just not while playing in the 2nd division. This is in contrast to 2nd division US teams, who are by rule never allowed to win a 1st division title.

        Not saying one way is better than the other (viva la diference and all) but I´m not sure your point is valid.

    • I know! I love how often that happens in Europe! Isn’t it great that teams who just got promoted in Europe can instantly move to the top, and spend as much money as they want to get there because there are no structurally biased European-wide financial laws preventing them from doing that but allowing the current elite to do so? Southampton is totally going to win the EPL next year…

      Mexico seems very much the exception, not the rule.

      • The EPL and La Liga are not all of Europe. There are actually more competitive and fairer leagues. Montpellier won Ligue 1 in France for the first time ever. Borrusia Dortmond won the Bundesliga. FC Twente won the Dutch league a couple years ago for the first time ever.

  6. Yes I forsee all of the Yanks still with Tijuana next season. Corona hasn’t really stood out enough to get any kind of transfer to a European team. Castillo is finally starting play well again, and Garza is very much an average LB. I don’t forsee Tijuana giving up their players on the cheap to Europe or any other team in Liga MX. They want to be a force in Liga MX and Southern California for years to come, and that starts by retaining their best players, and recruiting yanks from Southern California.

    MLS’s southern California teams are going to have a battle on their hands with Tijuana concerning youth players in the future. It can only serve to bolster MLS further.

    Does anyone else want to see the Galaxy and Xolo’s scare off in a California supercup? I sure do.

    • I think that is a great idea, 2tone, and I would love to see LA Galaxy vs Tijauna. Not only would it be highly entertaining to watch, it would be a huge money maker. A good promoter moving real fast could get that set up this year, say, December 15 or 16! I mean, really, are there any technical or contractual reasons that would not allow it?

  7. My ALL National Champion USMNT lineup:

    (GK) Saunders Galaxy (UC) **
    (RB) Dunivant Gal (C)
    (CB) De La Garza Gal (C)
    (CB) Gonzales Gal (C)
    (LB) Castillo Xol (C)
    M Corona Xol (C)
    M Franklin Gal (C)
    M Garza Xol (C) (U-20)
    M Magee Gal (C) (U-20)
    F Buddle Gal (C)
    F Donovan Gal (C)

    ** capped as a US Citizen to Puerto Rico

    I think this team could get in the top 4-5 in the Hexagonal

    • I don’t know that playing for Puerto Rico’s national team caps you for the USMNT by default, but that’s an interesting topic in and of itself. Seeing as how this is purely hypothetical and doesn’t account for the time necessary to get citizenship, I’d take Cirilo over Saunders all day.

      You’re also taking Garza as a mid even though he’s been much more effective as a RB or LB. I think you’d see Castillo more likely to play as your LW and Garza as your LB.

      • Castillo has speed and can get forward but isn’t the greatest passer of the ball. Garza is good technically but is slower than molasses and would get destroyed as a regular fullback at the international level.
        I’d take Castillo at LB and Garza as a midfielder (if I had to have him at all).

  8. ALL Hail Southern (Baja) California soccer/futbol!!!! Two national Champions connected by I-5( lol)

    Congrats to the Xolos, which if you don’t know , is the Mexican Hairless Dog, and not to be confused with a hairless Chihuahua. Xolos were full sized dogs revered by the Aztecs as part gods. part meal-time delicacy. (I’ll confess I have had a Xolo meat taco one time in Guadalajara.mmmm tasty)
    But considering the two National Champions are defined by the Xolo’s and one David Beckham; You can truly say that this year it’s about

    Mad Dogs and Englishmen.!!!!

  9. This is great for the young Tijuana Americans Corona and Garza as the champions league and the Libretadores matches will allow them to have a lot more playing next year. Plus learning how to win championships is a great skill.

  10. I imagine a number of teams will be pursuing Riascos and possibly others. Regardless of roster changes, the attention the team has gained from its marketing in San Diego and the knock on effect of having English twitter feeds, English lang websites,etc gaining attention for the team outside of California are likely to continue.

  11. What’s with them having multiple seasons? That’s not how Europe does it, Mexicans just don’t know anything about real soccer.

  12. Congrats to Joe, Castillo, Garza, and the rest of the yanks that are associated with the club at the youth levels. They are building something in Tijuana.

    They will be a tough team to play against in next years CCL.


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