Liga MX Despite deep team, America can’t overlook Club Tijuana Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon Last updated 1 year ago 07:00 2/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Pedro Pardo Liga MX América América v Tijuana Tijuana Opinion Key players like Mateus Uribe will get a rest Saturday ahead of next week’s Clasico Nacional, but Xolos could be tougher than expected Miguel Herrera has been particularly blunt lately. After a 5-1 thrashing of Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champions League, he said he had “no need for diplomacy” and acknowledged his team was far superior to Saprissa. That much was clear from the result. Why not say it?Herrera is enjoying himself. He should be. His undefeated America team tops the table. The offseason additions, made mostly to shore up an attack that managed to score in zero of four playoff matches last tournament, have worked perfectly. Las Aguilas have 15 goals in eight matches so far this tournament, tied atop the league.Yet with his old charges in town, Herrera needs to make sure not only that his team is feeling the good vibes he’s putting out but also that they’re ready to face a Tijuana team that could surprise. Next week is a big one for America. The second leg of the CCL against Saprissa looks easier — it now would take an absolute calamity to fail to reach the quarterfinals. But next weekend brings the Clasico Nacional against Chivas. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Always in touch with the America supporters, Herrera is looking ahead to that game. He’s resting Mateus Uribe, who sits one yellow card away from picking up a suspension for accumulation, against Tijuana to make sure he’s available to face Chivas. Instead, William da Silva will move into the midfield with Carlos Vargas fit to play at left back. Andres Ibarguen will start as well.”I see Ibarguen as a really good player. He’s very good, nice, he brings a good atmosphere and he’s taking advantage of the minutes he’s had,” Herrera said. “Fortunately we chose well when putting the group together and everyone knows they have to be at a good level.”Herrera does have a deep team at his disposal. After signing Ibarguen and forward Jeremy Menez in the offseason to bolster the attack and seeing a surprising emergence from Henry Martin, he has plenty of weapons going forward. That’s not even mentioning veteran Oribe Peralta, a streaky player who looks to be entering a good run of form after struggling in December and January. Darwin Quintero, the Colombian winger, would start at most teams in North America but isn’t making the 18 with America. That’s partly because of foreign player rules but partly because of the glut of talent the team has.At the back, signing Emanuel Aguilera from Tijuana and getting Paul Aguilar back from injury has America tough to beat. If the defenders do fall short, Agustin Marchesin is making a case he’s the best goalkeeper in Liga MX.All in all, Herrera has a dynamo of a team and has it playing like the best side in Mexico and a favorite to win the CONCACAF Champions League. Still, looking past Xolos and on to Saprissa and Chivas could set his team up for failure.Tijuana’s coach may not have any history with the former players, but several of his players know how they play. Center back Aguilera, left back Vargas and midfielder Guido Rodriguez were Xolos under Herrera, as were likely substitutes Martin and Joe Corona. The opposing players will know the tendencies, how players like to attack, what they can and can’t get away with. That’s not to mention the fact that Tijuana is a better team than Chivas in the first place. Diego Cocca has been conservative on the road and Tijuana is struggling with injuries to Gustavo Bou and Ignacio Malcorra. There still are capable attackers, and the veteran defense has allowed just five goals in eight matches this tournament.Herrera says his team knows that, and last weekend’s comeback draw against Veracruz showed the fight it has in all situations.”I like the attitude, the determination and the desire to not let a single point go,” he said. “This point meant a lot for our attitude, how we didn’t let it go. That’s the good thing about this team, that it doesn’t fall down. Losing the undefeated run could happen at any time, but the attitude of the guys is what stands out.”America must show plenty of desire for the undefeated run to continue this weekend against a tough Tijuana side that knows America inside and out. Overlook Xolos, and America will open itself up to a slip-up that will blunt Herrera’s happy mood ahead of a critical week.