Ben Shires visits the United States to explore the fast-growing 'soccer' scene. Down south in Texas, he follows the fate of Everton's U18 team.
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Losing the ball, because little bit of a drop-down there.
Greetings from across the pond and welcome to this incredibly
special edition of Match Of The Day Hickabout.
special edition of Match Of The Day Kickabout.
Yet, that's right, we're actually in America to see what the
beautiful game is like in the land of high-rises, hotdogs and hundreds
But, before we explore the sights and sounds,
hold onto your caps, John, here is our 60-second roundabout.
America is massive 40 times the size of Britain, so
away games can be five hour flight across thousands of miles, and then
you got to fly all the way back home.
This country is so vast that Major league soccer is split to two
leagues, and the best teams from the West
and East conference meet at the
all-important end of season play-offs.
Gerrard, Drogba, Kaka, Pirlo - polo the Russian huge names playing
out here right now and David Beckham was a legend in LA.
You want big superstores, no problem.
Sport is big news in America, but it's
basketball and baseball and NFL that are the most popular.
Football might not be national obsession, but that
doesn't mean that people don't love it.
Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention, don't call it football,
because over year football means American football or the NFL.
If you want to talk football, say soccer.
Well, you won't catch me saying football any more once we're
Oh, no, you're right - sorry, soccer.
Anyway, here's what soccer we've got coming up today.
Our football freestyle wizard, John Farnworth, takes the
And we go behind-the-scenes at star-studded
John, did you know that there are 20 clubs
battling it out in the MLS every week, but, apart from that, it kind
there is no relegation and clubs are known as franchises.
Yeah, and one of the biggest is New York city FC.
They've only been going a year but the glory got some the biggest
They've only been going a year but the've already got some
go to head down to training and check out how they get in the zone
So, shall we say meet back at the Flat Iron
We're here in leafy upstate New York at the training ground of New York
City seeks full stop in fact, their training
City FC full stop in fact, their training
just behind me right now
but that's not any ragtag bunch of players.
Oh, no, in amongst them are three World Cup winners, all
You can probably make out the chap to
black tracksuit over there, pointing, telling
Of course, famous as the midfield linchpin at Arsenal and for France,
who we won the World Cup and the Euros with.
And incredible player and now hoping to be a brilliant
Oh, what a magnificent goal by Patrick Vieira!
Of course, he is sorting out all the tactics
for Saturday's game, hoping he's going to get it right.
Well, he looks the part, and hopefully, his
managerial career is going to go as well as his playing career did.
Underneath that blue and white bobble hat is one of the finest
brains the world of football has ever seen, not to mention haircuts.
It is of course Andrea Pirlo, now plying his trade in New York.
I mean, who can forget that goal he scored
Oh, and he's clipped it in down the middle and the tallest player
He'll be hoping for plenty more of them Stateside.
Just over my shoulder there, that New York
Just over my shoulder there, that's New York
City's forward line taking part in various drills,
including World Cup winner, Euros winner, Champions
League winner and all the rest, Spanish striker David Villa.
Now, he's been here for a little while he's
the captain and his absolutely embraced life in New York.
His bona fide New Yorker and it's him that typifies this
Right, well it looks like Patrick is working on some
super-secret tactics now, so that's ourcue to leave.
Hopefully, it will make all the difference come Saturday's game,
but I'll tell you what else will make all the
difference - the amazing crowds that New York City get at the Yankee
Stadium, on occasion numbering over 40 5000.
Stadium, on occasion numbering over 45000.
Imagine that for soccer in the US - yes, it is that
So, NYC FC lock horns with NER FC in a few days' time
at the world-famous Yankee Stadium, giving us ample
opportunity for another exciting trip.
But itf he's not here in time, John Farnworth is going to miss it.
This is the Flat Iron building where we were meant
Well, I can't find John anywhere, so I go to have to do this
I'm on my way to Dallas in Texas - a state that's
so big it's three times the
Actually, it's 1,600 miles away so it might get a bit expensive.
Welcome to Dallas welcome to the Commonwealth
Stadium and welcome to the biggest youth
Welcome to Dallas welcome to the Cotton Bowl
Stadium and welcome to the biggest youth
soccer tournament in the
4000 players, 184 clubs from 37 different countries.
Truly, every corner of the globe is represented
Well, this is where the future stars of world
That's right, loads of British clubs play here and for many of their
players this tournament to be a landmark on the road to success.
Two years later in 2014 he was playing in Brazil at the World Cup
Ross Barkley will not be overawed by the occasion, not sure.
Ross Barkley is, of course, aproud product of the Everton
Youth Academy and the Toffees are here at this year 's tournament,
hoping to go one better than they did last year round
Well, it's half-time in Everton's opening game of the Dallas Cup
They currently trail 1-0 to Mexico's Tigres, but they're
This is where they're being directed from.
I've even managed to nab one of their drinks cartons at
I believe that we can win, I believe that we can win!
20 minutes to go and high drama, as Everton just had
a man sent off, down there by the dugout.
That's full-time here at the Cotton Bowl and Everton's first game
of the tournament has ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat.
They gave it all in their second-half.
A great experience for the young Toffees and
there's still all to play for over the rest of the week.
Tough as lions, that defeat just made Everton
They trained hard and played harder to win the next three games
And, just before the biggest day of the soccer live so far, I got up
with goalkeeper, Ben Pierce, and centre forward
forward DeLial Brewster to
get their take on the famous Dallas Cup.
When you look at the previous team Everton brought out, a
couple of years later there in the
first team, so, it takes great path
that we can follow and hopefully, in
a couple of years, both me and Ben
Coming out here to honour these tournaments, I think it really
does this is a group, because it all
We're very close bunch of lads, I think we all get
along very well and it's a completely different atmosphere
to going in every day back in England,
training, preparing for the match on
We need to make sure that we keep everyone together.
As a striker, do you figure out celebrations in advance and practice
Have you seen any real-life cowboy yet?
Is anyone doing to be brave enough to get this on?
Not only did the DeLial carry off that cowboy hat with
panache, he also carried his team to victory in the final, with both
goals in a 2-1 win that put his goal tally to five for the tournament.
And that's only the fifth time a British club has won
the Dallas Cup in 26 years - an incredible achievement
Well, partners, what a rootin', tootin' time we've had.
What the players, and how about the Dallas cup?
Follow the footballing stars of tomorrow, including some of
Speaking of which, I need to hotfoot it back to
And what about poor old John Farnworth?
New York is known as the Big Apple, so I
thought I'm going to ditch the ball today and do a few
I'm getting a few funny looks, but it doesn't really matter.
It's quite windy, actually, so I was like Losing
the ball, because little bit of a drop-down there.
I'm here at Brooklyn City Hall station, the subway is just behind
me. Wood we're here at the Saturday
night lights programme with the New York city FC programme. Blue macro
yet the work is a city that never sleeps. I was up in East Harlem Web
Islands and crime are real problems, so this programme is great as it
keeps the kids added danger of history and for the positive vibes.
My name is Lewis and I support Barcelona. My name is Larry and I
support the city FC. Julian in his mates demanded that I showed a few
trips, so, you might say no? But, football freestyle sorry, soccer
freestyle, it's all about giving it a go yourself and that's exactly
what they did. Roger legs! To? You did too. I
didn't know what to expect when I was coming year, but these guys are
absolutely fantastic. Brilliant skills, brilliant attitude. It's a
pleasure to show my free size filter them. As you can see I've put that
macro put through my paces. These guys are definitely most certainly
the future of American soccer. Where I noticed on Feynman? John? There
you are. Adjusting to Dallas it was brilliant and viewed then light
without me. I was so excited I never been to as. Gestede New York City
versus the revolution. Adenosine Andrea Polo, McGuinness the Patrick
Vieira. Figure that that John, this is soccer follow me.
I tell you what, you can take him anywhere without a little bit of
showboating. -- you can't take in anywhere without a bitter shirts
liberating. Where are you guys from? Norway. So you come this way but not
yet and holiday. So you supporting NYC FC? Whether the inevitable
differences? Home and away fans, not used a greeting each other. Butyl
day in the Bronx was about to get better. -- a beautiful day in the
Bronx was about to get better. And then NYC FC got off to a flyer. You
can probably a defence, and that's because the city just scored. We
were at last that lead just after half-time, but after the break
things seem to be looking up. Things are looking up. New England just had
a man sent off. With a man advantage, the hosts were certainly
piling on the pressure. 18 minutes gone -- 80 minutes gone, that means
just ten minutes to grab a winner. Come on, Villa? Sadly, the Likud
grabber when. The top analysis I had to hotfoot it downstairs. I'm sat
here in the press conference room waiting for Patrick the error to
come in. They will be disappointed they didn't get a win, especially
with the man advantage. New England created better chances and we did,
so we need to work harder. So two points in two games is not good
enough for a team like New York City FC. We didn't respect our plan. So,
Patrick Vieira obviously not fooled by the game. But I have the say it
was amazing experience. And that's not all for the behind-the-scenes
brilliance. I can't believe I'm saying this but I am in the dressing
room of New York City FC. This wouldn't happen in the Premier
League that it does happen here. That is David Villa talking to the
press, but no Apple OS nine yet, so I am out. I'm here with a man of the
match, Tommy McNamara. It's incredible to play for my hometown
and my home city. It means a lot to me. The fans are like rubber. I
mean, you scored a goal today. And the first people to congratulate you
were David Villa and Andrea Pirlo. It really cool opportunity that then
think again to get unless you play in Europe. They have been great. But
where on the same team and rural equals. Your pet you're applying for
a club that was only formed two years ago and it's grown in stature
to a hugely supported franchise. It seems to be the same for the game in
the US. Is a great time to be playing in America? Is growing every
year, more and more kids are playing and really exciting time. As he
sought today with the game, the amount of fans at turnout, it's like
that every week. It's incredible. Thanks for chatting to us, Tommy.
Good luck with your next game. What a week it's been John! I just can't
believe our American inventor is almost over. Ben, it is emotional to
be going home after one of the best weeks I've ever had. And can I say
that I am out falling in love and American football soccer, soccer.
You're right, sorry Johnny, it is soccer. Thank you for having us
Americans soccer fans we love you too. See you soon.
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Ben Shires visits the United States to explore the fast-growing 'soccer' scene. Down south in Texas, he follows the fate of Everton's U18 team at one of the world's biggest international youth tournaments - the Dallas Cup - while on the east coast, he goes behind the scenes at New York City FC, a newly-established Major League Soccer club boasting three World Cup winners in their ranks.