TIJUANA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente head into the new year with a new manager. The team will be looking to once again qualify into the Mexican League playoffs after going through both of the 2012 season without making the final eight.
Tijuana Xolos will also be looking to win the CONCACAF Champion’s League as well as the FIFA Club World Cup ticket.
The new manager Cesar Farias is coming after having managed the Venezuelan National Team for the past five years. Farias comes with a high prestige after leading a mostly baseball nation to their highest level of soccer; making the 2011 Copa America semifinals and finishing a mere two points away from a World Cup Playoff position in the South American Qualifiers. Despite all of that he is still a big gamble for the Tijuana club due to the fact that he has never managed or is proficient in Mexican soccer.
The new faces joining the team for the new year and new season are Venezuelan manager Cesar Farias, central defender Hernan Pellerano, and Ecuadorian forward Jaimen Ayovi. As well as Elio Castro who is coming in from second division affiliate Dorados of Sinaloa and will have the double registration and will be able to play for both Xolos and Dorados throughout the season.
The players who will no longer be part of the team are: Former manager Jorge Almiron, Pablo Cesar Aguilar who joins Antonio “Turco” Mohamed in Club America, Alfredo Gonzalez-Tahuilan who will now play in second division Atletico San Luis, and Raul Enriquez, Diego Olsina, Emmanuel Cerda, Aldo Polo, and Bruno Piceno will all join second division affiliate Dorados of Sinaloa.
The possible starting lineup for the Tijuana Xolos under Cesar Farias could be: Cirilo Saucedo, Juan Carlos Nuñez, Javier Gandolfi, Hernan Pellerano, Edgar Castillo, Cristian Pellerano, Fernando Arce, Javier Güemez, Fidel Martinez, Dario Benedetto, and Jaimen Ayovi. With American forwards Herculez Gomez and Paul Arriola as important game changing subs.*Formation in the picture at the bottom.
The player to watch all for the upcoming season will be Dario Benedetto; the Argentine forward had a great start last season and a strong finish. But injury problems kept Benedetto from putting in consistent performances. Also look for Ecuadorian forward Fidel Martinez to step up. Martinez will be entering his fourth season in Mexican soccer with the Tijuana Xolos, he scored important goals for the club last season and will look to build on that this season.