The eyes of the soccer world were on Texas on Thursday night as Manchester United managed a 2-0 win over Manchester City at Houston’s NRG Stadium in front of 67,401 fans.
“It was a good training session,” said Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho after the match. “We had to play well, especially when the game had more quality. I’m really pleased and I’m sure Pep (Guardioloa, Manchester City coach) is the same. It was high quality training, because the teams are good, the stadium is amazing, and the fans are fantastic, everything was very good… The quality of the work has been good and it has been good propaganda for the club.”
“It was our first game, and one team is a little further on in their preparation,” said Pep Guardiola, Manchester City coach. “It was a physical test but there were many, many good things about the match.”
Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring for Manchester United in the 38th minute as he tracked down the ball and rounded Ederson Moraes in the City goal. That pushed Lukaku wide but he somehow buried it from an impossible angle.
Billy Forbes celebrates his goal (Photo: Darren Abate/San Antonio FC)
Santos Laguna has managed to defeat San Antonio FC on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
It was the first international friendly in San Antonio FC history and the club did well, pushing Santos Laguna all the way to penalties. Unfortunately San Antonio FC continues their poor run with penalty shootouts falling 4-3 on penalties bringing their shootout record to 0-2.
Atlas in possession (Photo: Atlas)
The Tapatio derby came to San Antonio on Wednesday with Atlas running away 2-0 winners over Chivas at Toyota Field in the friendly.
It was some measure of revenge for Atlas, who had fallen to their local rivals in the Liga MX playoffs this season. The match was tight throughout but Atlas managed to hold on to an early lead and then just push out from there.
San Antonio Athenians SC has announced their second international friendly for 2017 as they announced on Monday that they will be taking on Tigres at the Blossom Athletic Center on July 15th.
The match will mark the second time that a Liga MX Femenil team has come to play in San Antonio since the foundation of that league. The second was also earlier in 2017, as Pachuca took on the Athenians in a 3-1 win at Blossom.
Photo: Houston Dynamo
With the FIFA international break taking place this week there are plenty of Texas based players who will not get a break as they head off to international duty with various national teams over the globe.
There are three Texas based players in the United States men’s squad on differing ends of their international careers. DaMarcus Beasley of Houston Dynamo is there along with two players from in-state rivals FC Dallas Kellyn Acosta and Matt Hedges. Both the FC Dallas players played in the USMNT friendly against Venezuela last week.
The worst kept secret in American soccer was finally revealed on Monday evening when it was announced that Manchester United would play Manchester City in Houston in July.
“The Manchester Derby is one of the world’s most iconic games,” said Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive of Manchester City. “We are very excited to play it in front of our passionate American fans. There are so many great memories from this game in history and we can’t wait to create some new ones in Houston.”
Santos Laguna after scoring a goal last week (Photo: Santos Laguna)
San Antonio FC has announced their first ever international friendly as they announced on Tuesday that they will play Santos Laguna at Toyota Field on July 8th.
Santos Laguna has been a phenomenally successful team in recent years winning the 2015 Clausura and Campeon de Campeones match. This followed on from 2014 when they finally won their first Copa MX crown, defeating Publa on penalties in the Copa MX final.
The United States Women’s National Team again made light work of Russia as they completed their two match series in Texas. The USA won 5-1 in a strong performance across the board after a tight start to the match.
“Whenever you lose a game,” said USA head coach Jill Ellis referring to the She Believes Cup, “you want to get back on track, and reality is this team doesn’t lose very often. The results make you feel good but what do you get from that and where are the pieces? Those are the really important questions for me and where we are. I was happy with the players, and it was good to get so many players in these games… then we can decide on the next squad.”
Crystal Dunn celebrates a goal (Photo: US Soccer)
The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) has started their double header in Texas well as they managed a 4-0 win over Russia at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Thursday night.
A sell-out crowd of 15,191 attended the match in Frisco with Crystal Dunn and Allie Long both scoring braces in the big win. It was a much needed confidence boost for the USWNT after a disappointing performance in the She Believes Cup.
Photo: Houston Dash
Houston Dash completed their preseason stint in Portland with a 1-1 draw against the Portland Thorns on Saturday evening. The result sees Houston finish the tournament with a 1-1-1 record, a mixed weekend with promising signs ahead of the season proper.
Portland took the lead just 17 minutes in to the match as their midfielder Mana Shim was able to find space on the edge of the area and score. Her shot was hit too powerfully for Houston goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who got a hand to the ball but it wasn’t enough as the shot still hit the back of the net to open the scoring.
But Houston responded and found a goal back thanks to some stunning work from their forward Stephanie Ochs. She was able to collect the ball and send it forward for Houston midfielder Rachel Daly who beat the defenders to it and made space for the shot which beat Britt Eckerstrom in the Thorns goal to make it 1-1, where the score would remain until the final whistle.
There could well have been an early lead for the Dash as they had an early chance in the sixth minute when a corner fell to Bruna Benites. She was able to get a shot away but the Portland defense did just enough to keep it out and clear.
That control continued in the early stages of the match and in the 15th minute as Houston had their second early chance of the match. Dash midfielder Andressa was able to send a through-ball forward for forward Melissa Henderson who was unable to get on the end of the ball.
While Houston may have done well in the match and been the better side throughout the 90 minutes they were left frustrated. Part of that was no doubt because of Eckerstrom’s performance in goal routinely denying Houston’s chances.