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.
San Antonio FC completed their Florida road trip on Saturday and will return to San Antonio undefeated from the two matches as they wrapped it up with a scoreless draw against Orlando City B at Eastern Florida State College.
The visitors were likely the stronger side in the match, with an impressive defensive performance making life hard for Orlando City B. That said the wastefulness in front of goal was back, leaving San Antonio FC frustrated and forcing them to settle for a scoreless draw.
It was a dominant performance from San Antonio FC in the first half as they had all of the chances in the first 45. Despite all those chances they were unable to finish any of those opportunities but defensively they were strong, keeping Orlando City B from having a single shot on goal.
After that tight and bogged down first 45 minutes, the second half was much more open with the two teams creating many more chances. The two main outlets for San Antonio FC were Cesar Elizondo and Billy Forbes who had several chances but they were unable to capitalize on those opportunities.
Late in the match Orlando City B really started going for the match as they had chances and with the very last kick of the match they got extraordinarily close to stealing the win. A free-kick from just outside the box beat Matt Cardone but it did not beat the bar, as it slammed off the crossbar and out for a final score of 0-0.
Photo: Tibet Women’s Soccer Team (Facebook)
(NOTE: This article wrongly stated the tournament, it is not the Dallas Cup, after the organizers clarified)
Donald Trump’s immigration policies have hit soccer as a Tibetan women’s soccer team set to play in a friendly tournament in Dallas was denied their visas the tournament organizer revealed on Tuesday. The team say that the applications of all members of the team had their visas denied “for no reason”.
After Trump initially raised hopes among Tibetan-Americans of recognition of the nation, which China claims as its own actions like these, while not orchestrated by Trump will shatter all illusions of Trump not following the ‘One China’ policy. The visa fee cost each player individually $160 and coupled with travel the total expenditure for the team was $5000.
This is not the first tournament the women have attended as they went to a German tournament in 2015 and had no issues. But under a new reality in the United States that was not the case as they were barred from entering the country.
The side was organized by New Jersey native Cassie Childers who has been handling a lot of the logistical work from the United States. Childers submitted the relevant paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with a letter from the Dallas Cup organizers confirming their financial sponsorship of the team. On her post about fundraising for the team she said that officials did not look at the paperwork submitted and grilled them about their positions on the field and if they had any relatives, seemingly worried they’d overstay their visas, before deciding that (as Childers puts it) “they had no good reason to visit the US”
The application took place in New Delhi, India and sources confirmed that the application visa was denied but USCIS provided no further information. A generosity campaign has been set up to raise money to cover costs and has exceeded that goal as they earned $6,604 in the past five days.
The two sides warm up (Photo: San Antonio FC)
San Antonio FC has won their first ever match against MLS opposition as they managed a 2-0 win over Minnesota United FC in Florida on Sunday morning. San Antonio FC rebounded perfectly from their disappointing double header last week and will gain a full steam of confidence from the victory.
There was a goal in each half as San Antonio FC managed a big preseason victory by upsetting the Loons in their final pre-season match. Defender Cyprian Hedrick scored his first goal for his new club while forward Devin Vega continued his stunning preseason with a second goal, forcing his way in to starting XI contention.
The opening goal came right at the death of the first half as Minnesota gave away a free-kick right in range for San Antonio FC midfielder Rafael Castillo. Instead of going for the direct shot at goal Castillo opted to send in a cross to Hedrick, with the big defender using all of his strength and height to get a header away, beating the keeper and hitting the back of the net to give San Antonio FC a 1-0 half-time lead.
The second goal came at the end of the second half as Vega was able to seal a famous win for San Antonio FC. New defender Ben Newnam was able to get a ball through for Vega to run on to, allowing him to slot home the winner.
While the scoreline makes the match sound like San Antonio FC dominated the match, it was a tight affair throughout. Often times San Antonio FC had their goalkeeper Matt Cardone to thank for keeping them ahead as he pulled off a number of classy saves.
As often happens in friendlies the second half saw the intensity drop due to the large number of substitutions. But soon enough San Antonio FC took charge of the second half and were able to find a second goal to win the match.