In July, our beloved dogs of Tijuana bit Club America in the keister during a summertime friendly at Petco Park. The final score was 5-2 but the score could have been more lopsided had the Xolos not eased their attack in the second half.
On Tuesday, America registered a regular season victory, 2-0, over Tijuana at Azteca stadium. That score may as well have been 21-2 for all the meaning it carried: none.
Even if the Xolos had managed a tie, the game—both of them actually—would have meant little. The club’s problems run deeper than the win loss column.
The dogs have no bite.
Their once vaunted defense has been struggling to keep opponents from scoring more goals than they and the dynamic duo of Riascos-Martinez was left grounded when Duvier Riascos was traded away at the end of last season. On his own, Fidel Martinez has sputtered, at times performing brilliantly while on other occasions he struggles to find meaning and purpose on the field. As a result, the Xolos are not scoring the way they used to. And that is why they sit in 12th place, four spaces removed from playoff contention.
The Xolos won the Mexican championship last year. But that means nothing today.
They have more ties than wins and more losses than ties but even that matters just slightly.
What’s of import to the club and its fans is Friday. On Friday the Xolos must win their game against Querertaro, the team occupying the eighth and final place in the playoff table. While a victory and its accompanying three points won’t guarantee the Xolos an appearance in the post season, it will be more helpful than a mere tie.
What matters most now is winning the remaining five games. Anything else and the playoffs are all but out of reach.
And that means a long, sorrowful break until the 2014 season.