Several Premier League clubs are currently over in North America on pre-season tours to get the squad prepared and to test out new formations for the up-coming season in Britain. MLS teams are in the midst of their season but many have agreed to bring in the glitz and glamor of EPL sides for friendly games.
Despite MLS stars already in the flow of things, last night saw a total dominance of the English teams, with four wins (Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa) and Crystal Palace ending in a draw.
Manchester United 7-0 LA Galaxy
Louis Van Gaal started off his Manchester United reign with a powerful statement of intent by crushing LA Galaxy by seven goals. The game saw three braces, from Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney and young star Reece James, all after Danny Welbeck had opened things up early on.
The Dutch manager was less than two weeks out from taking his nation to 3rd place in an exceptional World Cup competition and enjoyed a great start to his United career. Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw both also made their debuts for Man Utd; having both set the club back in the region £30m, they have a lot to live up to this season, so LvG will be pleased to see they started positively.
Robbie Keane warned the Galaxy dressing room prior to the match-up but even though they knew it would be tough, such a mauling wasn’t predicted with the EPL team rebounding from a disappointing season.
Sporting Kansas City 1-4 Manchester City
English champions, Manchester City, took an early lead against Sporting KC and despite going level after half an hour, City fought back well and kept attacking to the death. With a goal in the last couple minutes of both halves and a penalty converted by Kolarov, they ended the game convincing winners.
Also on the score sheet were Boyato with a headed goal at the end of the first half and Iheanacho finished things up with two minutes left of regulation.
FC Dallas 0-2 Aston Villa
Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper, Shay Given, was the only player that wasn’t substituted at half-time for Aston Villa, as their two different teams both played competently against the Texan team.
Of the new acquisitions; Joe Cole was resting a minor injury but Richardson played sharply, surprising Dallas with his pace and Senderos defended strongly. Youngster, Jack Grealish, started the game and showed promise for the upcoming season but will need more top level experience before his potential shows through.
Austrian international, Andreas Weimann opened the scoring with a good move by the Midlands club involving Darren Bent, who may well make his way back into the side this season after a loan spell away from Villa Park. Also back in contention is Alan Hutton, who has played well in both pre-season friendlies so far.
Charles N’Zogbia, back from a long-term injury, looked very exciting in the second half and scored a fantastic free-kick (albeit given a little help from a poorly positioned wall) to double the lead for the visitors. The French winger very nearly added to his tally in the dying embers of the game too.
The Villans played very much like a team that has felt the impact of having a legend like Roy Keane in the dressing room and on the training ground.
Toronto FC 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Former Spurs striker, Jermaine Defoe’s Toronto FC side clawed their way back level with two goals in ten minutes in the second half, after falling behind to an Erik Lamela brace. The Argentinian winger’s efforts were not in vain though, as substitute Andros Townsend fired home a winner with five minutes to go.
Brand new signing, Ben Davies, even made an appearance for Tottenham, getting his debut faster than expected. Next up, the Lilywhites face Chicago Fire on Saturday, in their USA and Canada pre-season tour.
Columbus Crew 2-2 Crystal Palace
After an 11th placed finish last season, earned through a very solid second half to their season, the mettle of Crystal Palace wasn’t quite enough last night to earn victory.
The Ohio team took the lead but the Eagles turned things around with a goal late in the first half and another early in the second half. Their win was plucked away from their grip late in the game though, when Crew hit in an equalizer.
Palace have two more games to play in the US before flying home to finalize preparations ahead of the new Premier League season.