Hector Moreno nets for Real Sociedad, Raul Jimenez still on Benfica's bench
For many fans of El Tri's best and brightest, last week was likely an average one when watching the Mexicans in Europe.
While there are plenty of positives to discuss when it comes to players like Hector Moreno and Miguel Layun, it's also difficult to overlook a lack of goals in the past couple of games for star strikers Javier Hernandez and Raul Jimenez. Looking toward the Eredivisie, the weekend also didn't feel complete without a goal or assist for the suspended Hirving Lozano.
There are plenty of highs and lows to cover, so let's get started on the latest Heroes and Villains list for the Mexicans in Europe.
It's no secret that Hector Moreno is an aerial threat off corners, and it was only a matter of time before he scored for Real Sociedad. After earning his first league start for La Real in the 0-0 draw with Betis on Thursday, the Mexican central defender later emerged with a goal during Sunday's 2-1 win over Alaves. Following the performance, the 30-year-old should have no problems holding onto his starting spot with the Spanish club.
Over in Portugal, Hector Herrera has continued the momentum of his excellent season with Porto. The team captain was again vital for his squad, and with an assist last Friday, Herrera helped the Portuguese giants sneak past Sporting Lisbon with a 2-1 victory. Ahead of the World Cup, an in-form Herrera is exactly what El Tri's midfield needs.
He's not exactly turning heads just yet, but credit must be given to Miguel Layun. While other players need an extended period of time to adjust to a new club, Layun has immediately been thrown into Sevilla's gameday squad. Since arriving in early February, the wing-back has already appeared in the starting XI four times for the Sevillistas. The 29-year-old had a rocky start in his first couple of La Liga matches, but during last week's wins over Malaga and Athletic Bilbao, Layun finally began to show signs of a promising season as a right-back for his new roster.
Another week and another scoreless game for Javier Hernandez. On Saturday, Chicharito and the rest of his West Ham squad slumped to a 4-1 away loss to Swansea. Whether it be due to questionable tactics from manager David Moyes or a questionable performance from Hernandez himself, the striker finished without a single shot. If the Mexico international wishes to return to Moyes' XI, he must start finding the back of the net regularly.
To make matters worse for Mexico's front line, things don't seem to be getting any better for Raul Jimenez. The Benfica striker, who has yet to earn a league start in 2018, didn't step onto the field on Saturday until the 73rd minute of the 5-0 victory against Maritimo. Barring an injury or an unexpected dip in form for Jonas Goncalves, Jimenez will continue to ride Benfica's bench. Looking forward, once the summer rolls around, the Mexican striker will need to seriously consider a possible transfer or loan.
Last but not least is Raul Gudino. Once an up-and-coming goalkeeper in the Mexican soccer scene, the 21-year-old is now a backup for APOEL in Cyprus' first division. During Sunday's 2-0 away win over Omonia Nicosia, Gudino remained without minutes for the 19th APOEL league match in a row. Any possible glimpse of a World Cup appearance is all but gone for the goalkeeper, leaving other backups like Gibran Lajud, Rodolfo Cota and Hugo Gonzalez far ahead of him.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.