Independence Day: Five City US Summer Blockbusters
- 04 July 2014 09:47
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Ready the fireworks, fire up the barbecue and hang high the Star-Spangled Banner, it’s Independence Day for our friends in the United States.
With Team USA stealing hearts all over the globe at World Cup 2014, City on their way back over the pond in a few weeks and NYC FC set for their big kick-off in 2015, it’s fair to say that there’s never been a better time to be a football fan in the United States.
City take on Sporting Kansas City, Milan, Liverpool and Olympiakos in four different states of the country over the course of the next month, continuing a long-standing tradition of transatlantic travel for the club.
To celebrate the 4th July, we’ve compiled five of the most memorable Stateside clashes from through the ages…
City v Chelsea: Yankee Stadium, New York 25/05/2013
Meeting for the second time in three days, City and Chelsea served up a box office smash at the Yankees Stadium on the 2012/13 post-season tour.
Coming hot on the heels of a stunning 4-3 comeback win over the Londoners in St Louis, City once again came out in top in a thrilling, topsy-turvy 5-3 victory, thanks to a pair of spectacular goals from Samir Nasri and further strikes from James Milner, Edin Dzeko and Gareth Barry.
39,462 New Yorkers crammed into the venue that will become NYC FC's first home for a match that was played in an enthralling, attacking spirit.
City v Hearts: Ebbets Field, New York, 25/05/1958
55 years earlier (to the day), there were even more goals for the 20,600 people inside Brooklyn’s Ebbets field.
On 25 May 1958, City took on Hearts in a match which was organised to celebrate 25 years of the North American Soccer League.
The City selection, including Bert Trautmann, Don Revie and Ken Barnes, played out an 11-goal classic with their Scottish opposition.
Jimmy Wardhaugh scored a hat-trick for Hearts, while Billy McAdams also scored thrice for City in a 6-5 victory for the Edinburgh side.
City v Atlanta Chiefs, Fulton County Stadium, 15/06/68
Joe Mercer’s City embarked on a largely unsuccessful tour of the United States in the summer of 1968.
Fresh from beating Manchester United to the Division One title by two points, the excursion was seen as a chance to raise money and parade the new champions around one of the world’s great frontiers where the beautiful game had yet to truly take root.
City originally took on NASL outfit Atlanta Chiefs in Georgia on 5 June 1968 and were defeated 3-2.
Mercer’s men had won one, drawn four and lost three of their eight games on the other side of the Atlantic, before a chance to sign off the tour on a high with a spot revenge came around.
According to the Year in American Soccer by football historian, Steve Holroyd: “After the loss to Atlanta, [City assistant manager] Allison tried to explain away the result, saying it was a freak occurrence and that Atlanta were at a fourth-division level side and couldn’t defeat Manchester City again.
“As fate would have it, a Mexican game City were scheduled to play got called off, so Atlanta challenged Allison to a rematch.
“After returning from the West Coast - where City lost to Oakland Clippers, Allison took his side back through Atlanta. He lost again, 2-1.”
Rare video footage from the match (credit: http://www.davebrett.com)
City v LA Galaxy: Home Depot Centre, CA, 25/07/11
In the summer before the Blues went on to become champions of England for the first time in 44 years, they visited the United States and took part in the Herbalife Football Challenge.
Against LA Galaxy, Mario Balotelli gave Roberto Mancini’s men the lead with a typically coolly-taken penalty after 19 minutes, before Mike Magee replied for the hosts after the break.
John Guidetti should have won the match for City with one of the last kicks of the game but it went to penalties where Joe Hart was the hero, saving a spot-kick in sudden death, before dispatching the winner to make it 7-6 himself.
City v New York Cosmos: Giants Stadium, 21/05/80
On 21 May 1980 City took on the storied New York Cosmos at the Giants Stadium in a match which formed part of the first Trans-Atlantic Challenge, also starring AS Roma and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Both sides were clearly keen to show the 31,000 supporters present their very best form but it was the home side who came out on top, inspired by legendary Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia.
As an extra enticing subplot, Dennis Tueart had just returned to Manchester City from the Cosmos in February of that year.
Pele had retired after the previous campaign but there was still more than a light dusting of stardust over the New Yorkers as their team included Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Neeskens and Carlos Alberto.
The Cosmos roared into a two-goal lead within 48 minutes courtesy of goals from Chinaglia and Vladislav Bogicevic but a spirited fightback from City drew the scores level, after Tueart converted a penalty against his former team and Kazimierz Deyna set up Dave Bennett to equalise.
However, Chinaglia was to leave his indelible mark on the game when he smashed home his 495th career goal to help his team towards the Trans-Atlantic Challenge title with a 3-2 win.