The Tijuana Xolos began their Apertura 2018 Copa MX campaign this past Wednesday, July 25. Club Tijuana visited FC Juarez in what was set to be an intriguing encounter that was being dubbed as the “Border City Derby”.
The game was a complete and utter disappointment as the quality of soccer had the broadcasters being thankful after the final whistle.
Both teams had a few opportunities throughout the 90 minutes, but overall the scoreless clash was what is expected from this uninspiring Copa MX competition.
However, there were a few salvageable things from the game to consider for Club Tijuana and the biggest one of them all had to be the youth players. Diego Cocca fielded a starting 11 that featured five players 21 years of age or younger.
The Argentine manager inclusively had a bench made up entirely of youth squad players and all three of the players he brought on as substitutions were all 18 years old.
Antonio Nava, Luis Gamiz, Brian Garcia, Alejandro Diaz, Luis Martinez and Edson Alvarado all made their debuts with the first team, four of them as starters.
The result was not the best against a second division side, but the young Xolos’ squad did enough to merit the three points from the match. The main talking point from the game was the alternate squad that was used by Diego Cocca and he talked about the youngsters after the encounter.
— @Xolos_En (@xolos_en) July 26, 2018
Cocca said, “I trust the Mexican players and I believe that they can develop”. The South American boss emphasized that he is a fan of the reestablished youth rule in place in the Liga MX, which is promising for Club Tijuana.
The Xoloitzcuintles’ youth academy has been on the rise for the last couple of years and can one day be one of the best in the country. For now, this era of players is in good hands with Diego Cocca and should be able to develop at a brisk pace.