How Two Clubs are Pushing Boundaries
August 25, 2022
By: Ethan Dumper, Age 13, KidScoop Media Correspondent
Angel City FC faced off against Mexican-side, Tigres UANL on August 10th in an international club friendly. I was at the game and I witnessed an event of friendship, competition, and hope for higher level, international women’s soccer.The first thing I noticed watching the game, was while it was still a competitive match, there was still friendship amongst the teams. Before the game started, a representative from each team exchanged team scarves and wore them on camera. After each team took a team photo, they took a joint photo with players from opposite teams standing shoulder to shoulder. As Tigres coach Carmelina Moscato put it, it’s a “football friendship.” She later added, “This is celebrating the spirit of women’s football. How it’s growing, how two clubs are pushing boundaries, and how two clubs are first movers in their respective countries. I think it was symbolic and a sign of more to come.” Angle City will travel to Mexico to face Tigres in 2023 as a part of this home and home series.
What is that more to come that Moscato talked about? Well in Europe, the top teams from each country in Europe play in a big tournament called the Champions League. It’s where the best of the best compete, and it’s an exciting high-level competition. The teams who qualify for the Champions League also make a lot of money from revenue. They make 17 million dollars from playing in the first round and millions more for winning. It may not be to that scale here in North America, but the players want something like it. On the men’s side, teams from Canada, America, and Mexico have formed their own CONCACAF Champions League which has been very successful in the last few years. “Hopefully, this [partnership] is a chance for us to get more formal international club competition, like the Champions League in Europe,” said Angel City coach, Freya Coombe. “This [partnership] is the next stage, this is how I see the game going.” Later in the conference, former Tigres and current Angel City player Stefany Ferrer Van Ginkel also talked about the idea of a champions league. Talking about the partnership between the two clubs, she said “It’s the first time the club does something like this, maybe other teams are going to be inspired, and do the same thing, or maybe we will have something bigger, like a Copa (Cup).” Clearly, both the players and the coaches want a bigger international competition to elevate women’s soccer.
The game kicked off with most of Angel City’s second team on the field, seeing as this was just a friendly match, and didn’t count for league play. Tigres had most of the possession for the first half, but both teams had their chances. Instead of Angel City’s usual Didi Haracic playing goalkeeper, Brittany Isenhour got to start. She hasn’t played a minute all season, but she played great in the friendly making multiple saves and keeping a clean sheet. The game was tied at zero in the 79th minute when Tyler Lussi had the ball at the top of the box. She smacked the ball into the box where Savvanah McCaskill put it into the back of the net to put Angel City up 1-0. That’s how the game would finish with Angel City winning their first-ever international friendly.
Angel City beat Tigres one to nothing in a game of friendship. The event was more than just the game though, it highlighted a real hunger from the players for more serious international competition.