• Friday Dec 30, 2016

    Pachuca building towards busy 2017

    Pachuca's Erick Aguirre (pictured) scored one goal in three games during the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League group stage. (Photo: Carlos Ramirez/Straffon Images)

    PACHUCA, Mexico – Teams around CONCACAF are using the final days of December to lay the groundwork for what they hope will become title-winning celebrations in April and May.

    One such club is Mexico’s Pachuca, which will be busy during the first half of the next year.  The Tuzos’ 2017 Liga MX Clausura schedule kicks off against Leon on January 7, while their 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal with Saprissa starts on February 21.

    Pachuca has been out of action since November 27 after being eliminated by Necaxa at the quarterfinal stage of the 2016 Liga MX Apertura.  The time it has subsequently spent on the training field around the holidays has been put to good use.

    “I think that we are starting to get back our physical and footballing levels,” said midfielder Erick Aguirre.  “Little by little, we will regain confidence and will arrive at out best for our first match.”

    There have been significant changes made to Pachuca roster, with four players exiting and five arriving.  Of note was the departure of midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro, who joined Guadalajara following an Apertura season that saw him make only seven regular-season appearances.  The 22-year-old had made 111 appearances in the previous three years.

    Meanwhile, after spending last year on loan with Pachuca from Guadalajara, Victor Guzman has joined the Tuzos on a permanent basis.

    If the first preseason friendly was any indication, Pachuca is on the right path, cruising past Real Cuautitlan last Friday, 6-0.  Aguirre netted the last goal and believes that the team is taking shape nicely ahead of the new campaign.

    “Regardless of the opponent, being able to win in these first matches of the preseason is important,” the 19-year-old, a 2016 Olympian for Mexico, finished.  “These types of matches help us a lot, being able to integrate new players into the team and developing the good play that our manager asks of us.”

    Pachuca, the 2015 Liga MX Apertura champion, has won four CONCACAF club titles, including the 2009/10 SCCL.

     

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