Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners

Major League Baseball

Sunday 10th July 2016

First pitch 13.15

Kansas City Royals 5 Seattle Mariners 8,  attendance 27,544

@ Kauffman Stadium

1, Royal Way

Kansas City, MO 64129

$23 Admission

Programme available, didn’t bother.

After a late finish,then a diversion off the I-35 north of Waco , had meant I hadn’t arrived home from my match at Round Rock last night until just before 1am. I was up early and on a 7am flight to Kansas City, meeting up with 3 mates who had flown in the previous evening for a few days in Kansas and Missouri States tagged on to some holiday around New York. As arranged, I had taken a bus from the airport to meet them at the Car Hire centre and they duly arrived on time for the 9am meet.

Today, we would be doing a double of baseball and ‘soccer’. Both games would be involving teams with Kansas in their names, but despite both being from the same city, it is one that is split between two different states, Missouri and Kansas. We would start off in the former, at the home of the current World Series Champions. We had decided to leave buying tickets until the day of the game, as weather could be a problem and none of us would be around for any rearranged date if there was a late postponement. As it turned out, it was absolutely glorious, so we arrived at the stadium, paid our $20 parking and drove down to purchase our tickets. Once done, as we had been instructed, we were refunded the parking fee on exit, then headed for some food, before arriving back about an hour before the start.

Kauffman Stadium was opened in 1973 and was known as Royals Stadium until 1993,  when it changed its name in honour of the Royals founding owner Ewing Kauffman. Together with the adjacent Arrowhead Stadium, home to the N.F.L. ‘s Kansas City Chiefs, it is part of the Truman Sports Complex. It is the sixth oldest stadium in M.L.B. although it underwent a $250 million renovation between 2007 and 2009. Capacity these days is 37,903, but a crowd of 41,860 witnessed the visit of the New York Yankees in July 1980.

Club Leon v C.A. Monarcas Morelia

Friendly Match

Saturday 9th July 2016

Kick off 19.00 Actual 19.20

Club Leon 1 C.A. Monarcas Morelia 2,  attendance 6,062

45′ + 2, 0-1

81′ 1-1

85′ 1-2

@ Dell Diamond

3400, East Palm Valley Boulevard

Round Rock, TX 78664

$55  Admission +$ 1.50 fees, Print at home ticket *

No programme.

I had called in here en route to the afternoon match as it was only 8 miles out of the way. I needed to suss out the car parking options as I wouldn’t have much time to spare. As it turned out it was half an hour, as despite only arriving here at 6.50pm, the game kicked off 20 minutes late.

One thing that is certainly worth a mention. The cost of printing the ticket at home was just $1.50, unlike the total rip off prices charged by most ticket agencies, especially Ticketmaster, who are one of the worst for this. When printed off, the ticket size was minute. Whilst walking round the stadium in the morning I was surprised to see the ticket office open so early, so thought I would just make sure that the ticket barcode would scan correctly. Without even asking, the girl on the desk offered to print a replacement for me, actually producing a proper ticket instead. Always nice to have a real ticket to keep as a souvenir.

As was the case this afternoon, it was another game, played in a manner not expected in a friendly. Good atmosphere too, Leon being the better supported of the two sides.

Dell Diamond is home to the Round Rock Express, the AAA M.i.L.B. team who are affiliated to the Texas Rangers of M.L.B. It was opened in April 2000 and has a capacity of 11,631.

Club America v Club Santos Laguna

Friendly Match (Interjet Cup)

Saturday 9th July 2016

Kick off 15.00 Actual 15.06

Club America 1 Club Santos Laguna 1,  attendance 15,000

85′ 0-1

86′ 1-1

@ The Alamodome

100, Montana Street

San Antonio, TX 78203

Admission $54 + $8.01 fees (resale) Print at home ticket

No programme.

Just like the Mexican National team, many club sides play friendlies here in U.S.A. to give their fans now living north of the border an opportunity to see their teams in the flesh. Tickets were only available through a resale website, which seemed odd, but no problem purchasing one. Even better, from my point of view, was the fact that it was an afternoon kick off which opened up the possibility of a double.

The Alamodome is home to the University Texas San Antonio Roadrunners American Football team and also hosts the annual N.C.A.A. Alamo Bowl game. It has previously been home to San Antonio Spurs in the N.B.A. from 1993 to 2002, hosted a couple of the N.H.L.’s Dallas Stars games, back in 1994 and 1995 and even hosted the New Orleans Saints, of the N.F.L., for 3 games, after Hurricane Katrina had damaged their own stadium.

The stadium holds 65,000, although the record attendance for a sporting event was 66,166 for the 2007 Alamo Bowl game between Penn State and Texas A&M.

Despite being a friendly, it was anything but, and seemed very niggly throughout. Club America had a man sent off after 38 minutes for an over the top challenge and this didn’t help the flow of the game and just as it looked like ending scoreless, we somehow managed two goals out of nowhere. I had parked in the car park right outside the stadium for $20 , as I needed a quick getaway, although with the stadium being close to Downtown San Antonio, then it would be difficult to park for free anyway. Luckily, the game didn’t overrun too badly and I was heading back north by 5pm, on my way to the second match of the day.

F.C. Dallas U18 v Sporting Kansas City U18

United States Soccer Development Academy

U18 Quarter Final

Thursday 7th July 2016

Kick off 19.30 Actual 19.27

F.C. Dallas U18 1 Sporting Kansas CityU18 0 (AET),  attendance 325

108′ 1-0

@ Toyota Soccer Center, Pitch 4

9200, World Cup Way

Frisco, TX 75034

No admission or programme.

Toyota Soccer Center is a 17 pitch complex situated immediately north of Toyota Stadium. According to the complex map, Pitch 4 is the ‘ feature game field’.

F.C. Dallas had enough chances to win half a dozen matches. By the time they got the winner I had resigned myself to having to endure penalties. Just to make it a little easier for Dallas the visitors had a man red carded on 116 minutes.

Heading back south I was passed by a couple of unmarked vehicles with blue flashing lights. Sadly, it transpired, they were heading to downtown Dallas where 5 police officers had been murdered.

Corinthians F.C. San Antonio v Houston Regals S.C.A.

National Premier Soccer League

South Central Conference

Saturday 2nd July 2016

Kick off 12.00 Actual 12.06

Corinthians F.C. San Antonio 4 Houston Regals S.C.A. 0,  attendance 78

53′ 1-0

59′ 2-0

65′ 3-0

89′ 4-0 (pen)

@ Manuel Vidrio Soccer Complex

999, Shadow Mist

Leon Valley, TX 78238

No admission or programme.

I was all set for this one as a 3pm kick off. At around 11.30pm on Friday night I noticed on their twitter account a conversation where it mentioned it would be kicking off at noon. A tweet at 7.30am on the day of the game was sent to try and confirm which time was correct, as it is a good 4 hour drive to San Antonio at best, so I was going to have to set off now anyway, just in case. I only arrived at the ground at 11.56 am and a minute later they tweeted a reply saying the game was indeed at noon !

I was surprised there was no admission charge, unless they had given up by this time ? There was a small refreshment table set up and a nice cheeseburger, or two, went down very well at a bargain $2 each. Water was only $1 a bottle as well, which was certainly needed as the temperature gauge on the car was showing 96 degrees when I arrived. Full marks also go to the young lad taking the orders, as he is the first person in the States to understand what you are ordering when asking for water. Others just look at you blankly, before another person in the queue translates for you so you get your ‘waarduur’ as requested.

This was the third time I had seen the bottom of the table visitors this season and the second consecutive 4-0 thrashing I have seen them take. They are not good, and as they say, the league table doesn’t lie.