Dallas Soccer: FC Barcelona
*Fans were booing often in the first five minutes because of the slow tempo. That quickly changed following Club America forward Vicente Vincente Sanchez’s opportunity to score in the seventh minute. Sanchez received an entry pass with only FC Barcelona goalie Victor Valdes in front of him but tangled legs with an FC Barcelona defender behind him in the penalty box. Valdes wasn’t tested much in the game before he was substituted for Jordi Masip. Club America had only one shot in the first half and four total against Valdes before he exited in the 73rd minute.
* Villa took over with a brilliant performance in 75 minutes of action, earning the Coors Light Man of the Match. Villa actively pursued to find the open spots on the field starting in the 10th minute. He frequently found himself in the penalty box leading another FC Barcelona charge against Club America and goalie Armando Navarrete. Villa scored off a beautiful assist from defender Adriano Correia. Villa gained so much separation from Club America defenders that he was waiting for the ball to arrive in the box before his header reached the back of the net. Villa finished the game with seven shots, four on goal.
*FC Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara drew some of the loudest cheers from fans when he displayed his crafty footwork and nifty dribbling abilities. Alcantara finished the match with three shots. Forward Pedro Rodriguez also had a solid outing despite only one shot. Rodriguez always seemed to be matching Villa stride for stride down the field when FC Barcelona was in attack mode. FC Barcelona finished the match with 15 shots, seven on goal.
*Club America made a charge in the second half following a couple of key FC Barcelona players subbing out of the game. Club America had eight shots in the second half with Sanchez and forward Christian Benitez leading the way with a combined five shots. Perhaps the biggest chance to score an equalizer came in the 65th minute when Benitz was called offsides on a through ball from midfielder Edgar Castillo.
*FC Barcelona added to its lead in the 90th minute on midfielder Seydou Keita’s tapper in the goalie box. Forward Gerard Deulofeu received a cross from the right side of the field and dribbled from the left into the penalty box. Deulofeu dribbed down the goal line and lifted the ball over a diving Navarrete, making it an easy score for Keita, who was right in front of the goal.
*FC Barcelona also dominated the time of possession over Club America, 71 to 29 percent. It also edged out Club America eight to four on corner kicks. Club America was shut out in its three World Football Challenge defeats and allowed five goals during the exhibition tournament.
*60,807 people were in attendance to watch the match, but it goes without saying that if two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi would’ve played for FC Barcelona, it would’ve drawn a larger crowd. As fans were leaving at the conclusion of the match, the video board at Cowboys Stadium showed a commercial starring Messi and quite a few fans stopped heading for the exits to watch one of the biggest names in the soccer world.
FC Barcelona: The reigning UEFA Champions League champions will surely draw a crowd despite the absence of a few key players. Two-time FIFA player of the year Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Dani Alves and Alexis Sanchez participated in the 2011 Copa America with their respective national teams in July. They were left off FC Barcelona’s travel roster for its three-game U.S. tour with the La Liga season opener scheduled for August 20 against Malaga (barring a labor dispute that’s threatening to delay the season). Among those on the roster include eight players from the 2010 FIFA World Cup champion Spain squad highlighted by Xavi, David Villa, Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta --who scored the lone goal in the World Cup final against the Netherlands.
In its two previous Herbalife World Football Challenge matches, FC Barcelona fell victim to Manchester United 2-1 before a record crowd at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., in a rematch of the UEFA Champions League final and lost 4-1 to Chivas de Guadlajara at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
Club America: The popular Primera Division club has played a number of friendlies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It will play its third match at Jerry World, but is still seeking its first win. Club America lost 2-0 to Chelsea FC in front of 57,229 during the inaugural World Football Challenge in 2009, and fellow Primera Division club San Luis FC handed Club America its second loss, 3-0, in 2010.
Unlike FC Barcelona, Club America is in the middle of its season and has a match against San Luis FC on August 13 against UANL. Club America has made 17 substitutions in its first two World Football Challenge matches, and the high number of switches will likely continue given the circumstance. Club America was blanked in its two challenge friendlies, falling to Manchester City, 2-0, at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and to Juventus, 1-0, at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y.
Here is the complete roster:
Goalkeepers: Masip, Jose Manuel Pinto, Victor Valdez
Defenders: Eric Abidal, Balliu, Andreu Fontas, Maxwell, Muniesta, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Rosell
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Carmona, Jonathan dos Santos, Andres Iniesta, Seydou Keita, Riverola, Thiago, Xavi
Forwards: Ibrahim Afellay, Cuenca, Pedro, Jonathan Soriano, Jeffren Suarez, David Villa
The La Liga club led by manager Josep Guardiola will travel to the United States for three exhibition games, starting July 30 against the English Premier League's Manchester United at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and concluding at Cowboys Stadium Aug. 6 versus the Mexican Primera Division's Club America.
Ticket information is available by visiting www.WorldFootballChallenge.com.
The real blow for area soccer on opening day of the eight-day, 180-team international tournament was struck by FC Dallas USSF U17/18 Academy, which shocked FC Barcelona, 3-1, in the event’s top division, the Gordon Jago Super Group.
“Everybody knows Barcelona,’’ said FC Dallas’ Daniel Garcia. “Nobody knows anything about us.’’
Garcia’s goal, 10 minutes into the second half, built on a 2-0 halftime advantage.
FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja used the underdog role as a motivator before the match.
“I told them our name is not as big as Barcelona, but it still must be settled on the field,’’ Pareja said.
FC Dallas employed a counterattacking strategy, conceding the fact that Barcelona would control the ball.
“When we got the ball, we hurt them,’’ said Pareja.
Said Garcia: “It is a great feeling to win and get a goal. American soccer is building and we are proof that our teams can play with the best all over the world.’’
Jonathan Top and Jose Perez scored in the opening half.
Barcelona averted a shutout on a penalty in the closing moments.
Arsenal FC 5, Dallas Texans USSF U17/18 Academy 1: In the final match of day one, it appeared the Texans might build on FC Dallas’ upset when Eduardo Aranda delivered a goal in the 12th minute of the match against the visitors from London, England.
From that point, the Gunners lived up to their nickname, helped by the Texans playing a man down after 47th minute red card.
The tournament staged its opening ceremony between the two Super Group matches.
Monday’s matches begin at 10 a.m. at both sites, Pizza Hut Complex and Richland College. The final matches of the day are scheduled for 6 p.m.
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