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Ledwith: Neymar must step up

Barcelona 6 days ago
Read
 Posted by Cesar Hernandez
Aug 19, 2014

Mexicans Abroad: Jimenez transitioning well

Atletico fans got their first glimpse of Raul Jimenez in a Rojiblanco shirt in a friendly versus Sampdoria.
Atletico fans got their first glimpse of Raul Jimenez in a Rojiblanco shirt in a friendly versus Sampdoria.

The big news of the weekend is once again focused on Raul Jimenez. Jimenez did not feature in Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win over Cadiz last week, but he was given the start against Sampdoria the day after.

It's very impressive that the 23-year-old striker was able to assimilate into the team after arriving only two days before the match. The quick transition over to Spain didn't seem to faze the striker on the field. Jimenez had a couple of good opportunities going forward and has already received praise from head coach Diego Simeone.

- Hernandez: Pumas continue tailspin
- Marshall: Relegation looms for Chivas
- Faitelson: The other Raul in Madrid

Any experience that the ex-Club America player gains with Atletico Madrid will be extremely valuable. Jimenez will be playing with some of football's current top players and competing against the likes of Mario Mandzukic for a starting spot on the team -- which is already enough to make any El Tri fan proud.

Jimenez may even see some playing time on Tuesday against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup. The Mexican international has been thrust into the limelight but is more than capable of thriving in it, as well.

Will Jimenez succeed? What about the other "Europeos?"

Rafael Marquez just finished playing his final match with Leon on Monday when the Liga MX team visited Barcelona for a friendly. Although the match was somewhat seen as a "farewell" game for Marquez, the score that followed will most definitely be the focal point. Barcelona thrashed Leon 6-0 and could have possibly scored a few more, as well.

Marquez, unfortunately for Leon, looked like the best player on their squad. "El Kaiser" will now head back to Italy and prepare for his upcoming Coppa Italia game against Cremonese this Sunday.

Carlos Vela appears to be recovering from his plantar fasciitis injury and could potentially take part in Real Sociedad's Europa League match this Thursday. The attacker has not played at all this summer and there are still worries about not only his lack of time on the field, but also whether he will be fully healthy.

Guillermo Ochoa and Malaga haven't seen action since their 2-0 loss to Fiorentina on Aug. 10. Ochoa will be battling with 30-year-old Carlos Kameni for a starting spot in goal, but it appears as if the job is almost a guarantee for the Mexican international at this point.

Javier Hernandez was given the start for Manchester United on their season opener -- which was likely due to the number of injuries the squad had. The game, like a few others recently, will be seen as another potential "last game for Hernandez at United."

Hernandez had little influence on the pitch and was subbed out during halftime. United boss Louis van Gaal still has time to make some last-minute roster decisions and it wouldn't be too far-fetched if Hernandez were to leave.

Hector Moreno is still recovering from his injury during the World Cup. The Espanyol defender will likely return to full fitness by the end of the year.

Jonathan dos Santos played for a full 45 minutes during Villarreal's 2-1 win over Real Zaragoza last Saturday. As for his brother Giovani, the striker was left behind due to some muscular pains that he was having. Reports have stated that it is nothing serious.

Villarreal will have their first game of the Europa League against FC Astana on Wednesday the 20th.

Javier Aquino is already making his mark with Rayo Vallecano. In his first game with the squad, the winger scored the team's only goal during their 2-1 loss against Real Valladolid. Aquino should have no trouble making it onto Los Vallecanos' first team.

FC Porto have started their season off on the right foot after beating Maritimo 2-0 last Friday. Hector Herrera played for 57 minutes in the match and was active in the midfield. Diego Reyes sat on the bench and will have to compete with Bruno Martins Indi and Maicon for time in the middle of the defense.

Andres Guardado played for about 10 minutes during Valencia's 2-1 win over Valencia last weekend. Guardado has had sporadic time with Valencia during the preseason but has had good performances during his opportunities given.

Valencia will have their first game of the season against Sevilla this Saturday.

Kalloni FC are set to have their first game of the Greek Super League this Sunday against PAOK Salonika. The role in which Nery Castillo will play on the team is the big question. Little news has emerged from Europe about the 30-year-old veteran. Perhaps my Greek translating skills aren't the best when I regularly scan through their Twitter page.

It hasn't been given much attention recently, but Jesus "Tecatito" Corona scored two goals for Twente's B team on Monday. Both of the goals were made during the first eight minutes of the match against Helmond. Corona was recovering from an injury but it appears as if the attacker might obviously be back in shape.

Gabriel Piccolo was not featured in Partick Thistle's 1-1 tie with Dundee United. The central defender struggled with minutes last season and will likely continue to do so during the rest of the year.

Ulises Davila is still in football purgatory. He will likely not be called up to Chelsea's first team, but has still not been assigned to a club on loan. The 23-year-old will eagerly await the news of his future.

Cesar Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez can't remember a time when soccer hasn't been a part of his daily routine. Within that personal immersion of fútbol is a lifelong passion for the Mexican national team. He has blogged on El Tri for four years mainly through his blog The Big Verde. Follow him on Twitter @cesarh1030.

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