Twenty-four seconds. That’s all it took for Manchester United’s Federico Macheda to score against the best that the MLS had to offer. The creme of North America had done well versus international competition over the last six years, winning five of those matches. But facing Sir Alex’s youthful juggernaut — a team still smarting from a weekend loss to Kansas City — the league’s best players ran into trouble after 24 seconds… and likely sealed their doomwhen they allowed the 18-year-old Macheda to score again just 12 minutes later.
A massive crowd was on hand in Houston — 70,000 plus — but put that down to fans wanting to catch a glimpse of the Red Devils, rather than a show of continentalism. Toronto FC’s Dwayne DeRosario managed a goal, as did hometown hero Brian Ching. However, United’s “B” side are as good as any team in the MLS and that’s why the end result was 5-2.
Macheda and new signing Javier Hernandez seem to be the vanguard of the new Busby Babes, with Ferguson looking for both players to help Wayne Rooney with goal production this year. Sir Alex hasn’t been at the helm of Man U for a quarter of a century for nothing. Look for them to challenge for the Premier League title again this year, with a young and mainly British team in support.
Fergie Glazes Over Fan Unrest
Sir Alex says he’s quite happy with the Glazer Family ownership. Even though the club is a billion dollars in debt, Ferguson says they basically leave him alone. Just one more reason for Liverpool fans to
envy hate United.
Two former European club champions are fighting to keep their infant CL campaigns alive. Celtic were handed their sheleighlies in Portugal on Wednesday, losing to Braga 3-0. The Glaswegians failed to get a single shot on net, and have been woeful on the continent underneath Neil Lennon.
Meanwhile, Ajax’s Champions Leagues hopes hang by a thread after PAOK Salonika scored a valuable away goal, to end the match 1-1. At The Rails’ own Late Night Lenny Grammenopoulos has been kidnapped by his new wife back to Greece… but we know the long-suffering PAOK fan is licking his lips at the thought of European football.
Roy Hodgson’s gamble paid off, as Liverpool’s youthful side comfortably beat Rabotnicki Skopje in Macedonia 2-0. Maybe it was the harsh lighting and concrete decor of the Soviet era stadium… but that might have been the most boring match this writer has ever seen. Oh well, expect Rabotnicki to get a whomping at Anfield next week.
Irish eyes were not smiling, as Juventus beat Shamrock Rovers 2-0 in Dublin. Amauri scored for the Old Lady two minutes in, and it’s basically curtains for Rovers.
Other scores: Goteburg lost 0-2 to AZ Alkmaar, Galatasaray drew OFK Belgrade 2-2 in Istanbul, Red Star Belgrade lost 2-1 to Slovan Bratislava, and Greek powerhouse Olympiakos beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv 2-1.
Former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has signed a two-year deal at Fulham. Meanwhile the most expensive player he ever signed — Robinho — has been told to report to camp. The Brazilian was loaned out to Santos last year.