So, Tigres have gotten off to as good of a start as we could’ve hoped for, putting up 5 goals on Puebla during the Apertura opener. Down on the farm, the Sub-20 and Sub-17 games also have gotten their first match out of the way against Puebla, while we are still waiting for the 2nd and 3rd teams to begin play. But before we look at the results of Jornada 1, there are a few offseason matters worth addressing:
Those who have checked out Tigres’ entire roster may have seen a few new faces in the crowd that you don’t recognize from transfer news; that’s because we’ve called up a pretty good chunk of players to start the new season. The trio of forwards Rafael Duran, Brian Rubio, and Miguel Quintanilla all are part of Tigres’ roster. Duran comes from the Sub-20 team, while Quintanilla and Rubio (who I’ve gushed over in the past) come from the reserves.
20 year old Raul Torres made his Liga MX debut during the season opener, playing the final 20 minutes against Puebla. Other midfielders called up include Julio Ibarra and Jhory Celaya. A pair of 18 year old defenders, Jorge Cruz and Jair Diaz, are also waiting to make their debuts with the big boys sometime this year.
Also worth noting is that the Segunda Division has completely changed, and Tigres now play in Grupo 1 of Serie A, which has 18 teams as opposed to last year’s 16. The format is now identical to the Liga MX, with the top 8 teams making the playoffs, and the split season system in place.
The Sub-20 opener was a fairly dull beginning to the season. Puebla capitalized early after a botched clearance, going ahead 1-0. Only minutes after though, Julio Ibarra (who was eligible since he didn’t dress for the senior game) knocked in a rebound to tie the game up at 1-1, which would remain the final scoreline. There were a lot of new faces in the side compared to a few months ago, mostly due to migration to the reserve roster. There really isn’t a lot to be said on this one.
Things were a lot more exciting down at the Sub-17 level. Tigres raced out of the gates when Patrick Ogama buried a penalty in the 6th minute. 10 minutes later, Erick Monsivais, who spent last year in the Tercera Division, cut a nice header into the side netting to double Los Felinos’ lead. Puebla battled back to make it 2-1 with a penalty of their own just before halftime; but it wouldn’t be enough. Tigres would score once more in the 57th minute, taking advantage of a few Puebla errors (including one by the keeper). Goalscorer Lorenzo Lopez did a good job to hit the ball in with pace, though it should’ve been saved. All in all it was a good start for this team, though they did lose the post game shootout and a chance for the extra 4th point.