Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions v Paul Quinn College Tigers

National Association Intercollegiate Athletics

Monday 22nd August 2016

Kick off 11.00 Actual 11.04

Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions 2 Paul Quinn College Tigers 1,  attendance 27

30′ 0-1

55′ 1-1 (pen)

75′ 2-1 (pen)

@ S.A.G.U. Soccer Field

1200, Sycamore Street

Waxahachie, TX 75165

No admission or programme.

I had confirmed this match was indeed an 11am kick off when I spoke to the S.A.G.U. coach on Saturday evening. I was also concerned about access to the match during a weekday, with the pitch being on the campus, especially with possible parking problems this may have caused, but no problems whatsoever.

The only concern, as it turned out, was the weather. With 5 minutes left there was a flash of lightening, which signalled everyone heading for the changing rooms. Once the storm had moved on the players returned to complete the game.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions v Coastal Bend College Cougars

Friendly Match

Saturday 20th August 2016

Kick off 18.00 Actual 17.55

Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions 0 Coastal Bend College Cougars 3,  attendance 89

7′ 0-1

18′ 0-2

78′ 0-3

@ Life High School Stadium

170, Butcher Road

Waxahachie, TX 75165

No admission or programme.

I was lucky to pick up this fixture when reading their website to check out their home match on Monday. Pretty much one way traffic once the early goal went in and played at a good pace throughout.

Frisco Rough Riders v Springfield Cardinals

Minor League Baseball

Double-A Class

Texas League

Tuesday 16th August 2016

First pitch 19.05

Frisco RoughRiders 4 Springfield Cardinals 3,  attendance 4,013

@ Dr Pepper Ballpark

7300, Roughriders Trail

Frisco, TX 75034

$13 Admission

Programme free, 36 pages.

Frisco RoughRiders are affiliated to M.L.B. team the Texas Rangers. Prior to 2003 the franchise was based in Shreveport, Louisiana, and were known as the Shreveport Captains as well as one season as the Shreveport SwampDragons.

They currently play at Dr Pepper Ballpark, opened on 3rd April 2003, when they were defeated by the Tulsa Drillers. Capacity is 10,316 and attendances here reportedly average 8,000, with 30 sell out games a season. Certainly nowhere near either of those figures tonight.

Tulsa Roughnecks F.C. V Swope Park Rangers

United Soccer League

Western Conference

Saturday 6th August 2016

Kick off 19.30

Tulsa Roughnecks F.C. v Swope Park Rangers,  MATCH POSTPONED.

@ ONEOK Field

201, North Elgin Avenue

Tulsa, OK 74120

Left Dallas at 8am on a nice clear morning, arriving in Tulsa at noon, under blue skies and a very hot 94 degrees. Having spent the day doing the touristy things it was time to head for match. Parked near the stadium at around 6.45pm and joined other groups heading for the game. Was absolutely amazed when someone coming away from the stadium said the game had been postponed. Well, the weather had dramatically altered by now……..it was only 91 degrees ! Apparently, the game was off due to waterlogging, caused by heavy rain in Tulsa on Friday. There had been no mention whatsoever on their website concerning this and let’s face it, just how wet could a pitch be having been baked all day long by the sun in temperatures of 90 degrees plus ? Obviously this is a club who are bottom of the table in both league position and the way they treat potential customers. Still, at least it was only a 500 mile round trip.

A.C.Milan v Chelsea F.C.

International Champions Cup

Wednesday 3rd August 2016

Kick off 20.00 Actual 20.33

A.C. Milan 1 Chelsea F.C. 3,  attendance 64,101

24′ 0-1 B. Traore

38′ 1-1 G. Bonaventura

70′ 1-2 Oscar (pen)

87′ 1-3 Oscar

@ U.S. Bank Stadium

401, Chicago Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55415

Admission $42 + $16.07 fees, Print at home ticket.

No programme.

The U.S. Bank stadium is brand new and tonight’s match was the first ever sporting match to be played here. Perhaps this explained the late start, a ridiculous 33 minutes behind schedule, although no announcement was made regarding this. It is a fixed-roof stadium, located in Downtown East and is on the site of the former Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. It is home to the Minnesota Vikings of the N.F.L. and is designed on the outside to resemble a Viking ship. Capacity here is 66,200, expandable to 70,000, for future events, such as the Super Bowl in 2018.

I had flown direct from St. Louis into Minneapolis, rather than nipping home to Dallas for a night, having arrived early Tuesday evening. Again, I used a hotel near the airport,  as it guaranteed public transport would be readily available. The airport is served by the Blue Line of the METRO rail system, which is on the same line as the U.S. Bank Stadium, (using the same name for the station) just 10 stops away. Fares are $1.75 each way and having a ticket pre purchased for the return journey meant I was on the second train back towards the airport pretty quickly after the game.

I have totally lost touch with Italian football. I used to keep an eye on Milans results as they were the first Italian club I visited, but of today’s players it was just the Japanese player Keisuke Honda that I recognised and he only played the last 23 minutes. Chelsea, as would be expected, were very familiar. Just Olaoluwa Aina that was unknown to me.

Flight back to Dallas would be early tomorrow morning.

Liverpool F.C. V A.S.Roma

Friendly Match

Monday 1st August 2016

Kick off 19.30 Actual 19.36

Liverpool F.C. 1 A.S Roma 2,  attendance 28,573

29′ 0-1 E. Dzeko

45′ + 1, 1-1 S. Ojo

62′ 1-2 Mohamed Salah

@ Busch Stadium

700, Clark Street

St. Louis, MO 63102

Admission $48 + $9.18 fees, Print at home ticket.

No programme.

I had taken a mid morning flight into St. Louis Lambert Airport and checked into a hotel near the airport. Transport from here to the stadium was $4 single, which included a $1 supplement from either airport terminal, on the Metrolink light rail transit system, which continues over the state border into Illinois. This was on the red line, getting off at the station conveniently named ‘Stadium’. A return ticket was $3, perhaps cheaper as you have to suffer the journey later in the evening with a fair proportion of low life.

Busch Stadium is home to the St. Louis Cardinals of M.L.B. and is actually the third stadium to take this name. It was opened in 2006 and has a seated capacity of 43,975, but can actually hold 46,861 with standing room. Oddly, the record attendance here was for ‘soccer’ when a friendly between Manchester City and Chelsea drew a crowd of 48,263 on 23rd May 2013.

Press reports were saying a crowd in the region of 35,000 was expected, but obviously Liverpool are not such a big name over here amongst the new generation ‘soccer fans’ and the crowd was disappointing. Five minutes into the match 2 lads, probably in their late twenties, arrived and sat directly behind me. They were trying to work out which team was which, just as a white shirted Edin Dzeko hit the bar with a shot. That will be Liverpool was their assumption, but I pointed out that no, Liverpool are the team wearing black. Next conversation had them discussing the next World Cup……..in Qatar ??????…….with a debate on whether Qatar was a country or a city and whereabouts it was geographically. They settled on it being a country…….somewhere in Africa ??????? I pointed out to them that they had forgotten about the 2018 World Cup in Russia, by which time they had miraculously worked out that I was not American. Having told them I was English, I was then asked whereabouts in England I was from…..”if you think Qatar is in Africa, then you certainly won’t know where I am from in England” I replied. They agreed. Five minutes before halftime they decided they had seen enough and headed off into St. Louis for a drink. So much for the game growing over here.

Roma were the better team throughout, especially Nainggolan, Mohamed Saleh and El Shaarawy. Liverpool gave a run out to all the ‘big’ names, with Alberto Moreno suffering the indignity of being substituted on 82 minutes having only come on as a substitute for  James Milner at halftime.