Mexicans abroad: Hirving Lozano wins Europeo of the Week following two-goal heroics for PSV
More than ever before, some of the top names in Mexican soccer are playing for clubs abroad. With several key figures playing week in and week out in a number of top European leagues, keeping track of all the high-profile stars can at times be daunting.
In order to help keep tabs on those across the Atlantic, we've created a weekly award that will be given to the most outstanding player. Along with a few honorable mentions --- and a "dishonorable mention" prize --- here are the noteworthy performances from Mexican players in Europe last week.
Europeo of the week: Hirving Lozano, FW, PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
It was only a matter of time before Lozano clinched this award. As one of the most promising and talented names in the Eredivisie, the Mexican winger regularly steps up as the man of the match with his dazzling runs and effective finishing.
On Saturday, the 23-year-old flexed his power and influence for PSV with two goals in the 2-1 home win over Groningen. Were it not for a collision that forced him out late in the first half, Lozano could have easily collected another later on in the game. It now brings "Chucky" to a whopping total of 13 goals and six assists in just 19 league appearances for his Dutch club. If we're also counting PSV's run through the UEFA Champions League group stage, his tally would increase to 15 goals and seven assists, all competitions.
The question isn't if the winger will make the move to a bigger club, but when. Lozano is one of the most talked-about young players in world soccer, and if he doesn't make a transfer over the winter, it would be a shock to still see him sticking around PSV once the summer is over.
Honorable mention: Diego Lainez, FW, Real Betis (Spain)
Betis manager Quique Setien is wasting no time with Lainez. After immediately providing the young Mexican with minutes in the first two games since he joined the team earlier this month, Setien then gave Lainez his first-ever start Sunday in the 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao.
Despite the defeat, the 18-year-old looked lively with his short passes and daring take-ons. Lainez's confidence was also on full display after he slalomed past a couple of defenders and then rocketed a dangerous shot on target in the first half.
Honorable mention: Jesus Corona, MF, Porto (Portugal)
Although Porto lost the Taca da Liga final on penalties Saturday, credit must still be given to Corona for his positive influence in the preceding semifinal. Last Tuesday, the winger was once again a game-changing playmaker with his clever passes and interceptions. Thanks to his assist, "Tecatito" stepped up for Porto in the 3-1 semifinal victory over Benfica.
Honorable mention: Raul Jimenez, FW, Wolverhampton Wanderers (England)
Another day, another goal or assist for Jimenez. During the weekend's FA Cup battle against Shrewsbury Town, the Mexican was brought on during the second half and helped salvage a 2-2 draw through a goal in the 75th minute. In just 114 minutes of FA Cup play, Jimenez now has two goals. Not bad.
Dishonorable mention: Oswaldo Alanis, DF, Real Oviedo (Spain)
It just wasn't Alanis' night. Now with Real Oviedo in Spain's second division, the former Chivas player had a game to forget Friday against Real Zaragoza. Not only was he a part of a back line that allowed a couple of goals in the 2-0 loss, but he also failed to convert a penalty early on in the match. He'll have to wait a bit longer for his second goal of the season.