Half time: Kansas 0 Newcastle 0
Full time: Kansas 0 Newcastle 0
A club statement
"Hatem Ben Arfa sustained an injury to his left ankle in a tackle during the
club's friendly against Sporting Kansas on Wednesday evening and went to a
local hospital for a precautionary X-ray.
"Consequently he will be leaving the club's US tour tomorrow and the injury
will be reassessed over the next 48 hours."
Pardew said after
"The stadium is absolutely
top-drawer. Coming from our league, I can attest that this would easily be in
the top amongst stadiums in our league. It was really, really hot. It's probably hard to understand if you are
sitting at home in Newcastle just how hot it was. The impact on us was that it made us look a little bit lethargic and
"We have worked them hard this week, but the opposition were good
opposition, and therefore it was a decent result for us.
"I was pleased we got
the clean sheet. We obviously lacked sharpness in and around the box, that was
pretty evident. Overall, I am very, very pleased. The quality of the opposition
did not surprise me because I had John Carver who's managed in the MLS. So we
were very familiar with the standard, but I think it surprised one or two of my
"No matter what you say to players they can't sometimes accept that their
playing on an even playing field. There was a bit of shock in certain areas but
for us it was a great workout."
"Jose (Enrique) got a knock in training yesterday - there is nothing
suspicious about that. He has a hamstring knock – he’s suffered with his
hamstring before. (Sylvain) Marveaux hasn’t played for 10 months, but
he showed good quality and was unlucky not to score.
"Demba (Ba) looked a bit
ring-rusty, but he is a big guy and his sharpness will come later. He is a
diligent worker, but the quality he has he didn’t show last night. We’ve
seen him before so it will come.”
"Mehdi (Abeid) has a lot to
learn and is in the process of learning the Premier League. He got caught in
possession, but he has quality there. He will get more chances."
"Hatem (Ben Arfa) is going to have a few demons from that injury he had last year.
I am hoping he's okay. We took him off as a precaution - he was a bit
shocked by the challenge, I think - but we think he will be okay."
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said:
"For us I think it was pretty simple- these exhibitions like this
where we get the opportunity to play against such a storied club as Newcastle is
tremendous for our team. Although neither team scored any goals which would have
been great for the crowd and the atmosphere. I thought there was some good
soccer out there. Definitely some glimpses from both teams at times. Obviously
they are in their pre-season and we played a split squad in both halves.
"Kevin Ellis, getting the chance to play 30 minutes, and Soony Saad, those
types of guys getting experience playing games is tremendous for us. All-in-all
it was a great match for us, especially mid-week. It’s great competition, and
another game for us to measure ourselves.
"Jéferson is what we expected him
to be. He is definitely a number ten, he's a guy that wants the ball, very
confident, still needs to understand a little bit of how we play and some of the
guys. He's only been here two days, he's trained with us twice.
"I think he'll fit in well, he's going
to give us a push here in the second half of the season. I think he can not only
grow with us but take us to another level in the way that he sees the game and
can give the final pass - I think in our league he's going to be a special
"We hope to make this a strong club, not only in the MLS, but also
"I thought the stadium atmosphere was good. Sometimes you have to take into
consideration that MLS is different because you play through the summer months.
The heat becomes such a major factor in the game, and both teams have to deal
with it no matter what.
"It really doesn’t matter how fit you are, it has to do with how well you
manage the game, how well you manage the ball and the possession of it. We’re
continuing to grow as a team, and I think we’re getting better."
sightings of Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux in a
This was Newcastle's first game in the USA since a 2-2 draw at
Columbus Crew in July 2000. United's sole survivor from that game was
unused substitute Steve Harper (although at the club, Shola
wasn't on the 2000 US tour)
United got their three
match tour of the USA underway without any away fan antics - but
further injury concerns for manager Alan Pardew. Already deprived of the services of Dan Gosling for half of the opening quarter
of an hour after he left the field for treatment to a facial wound, Hatem Ben
Arfa then departed on a stretcher just after the half hour mark.
Pardew confirmed post-match that the French midfielder had gone for a
precautionary X-ray but that he believed Ben Arfa was OK and his Stateside tour
wasn't over. However that was quickly rendered overly optimistic by news
that the player was flying back to Paris for medical tests.
After another day of sweltering temperatures in Kansas, an evening kickoff at the
recently -inaugurated LiveStrong Stadium gave only partial relief, players
taking on water regularly and many fans sampling the half dozen different
draught beers on sale within the stadium.
United used 16 outfield
players over the course of the game and gave debuts to Demba Ba (deployed as a
sole striker with Ben Arfa behind and then later alongside Ameobi) and Sylvain
Marveaux on the right wing.
Jose Enrique however wasn't involved (apparently nursing a sore hamstring), Jonas Gutierrez reprising his World Cup
cameo at left back before pushing forward when James Tavernier made a half time
With Coloccini and Steven Taylor in central defence, Ryan Taylor appeared at
right back until he pushed into midfield following the appearance of Danny
Simpson on the hour. Tim Krul completed the full 90 minutes, with Steve Harper and Fraser Forster
our only unused substitutes.
The home side were appealing in vain for a penalty as early as the fourth
minute when Gutierrez barely made contact with his opponent in the box. At the other end meanwhile good interplay between Peter Lovenkrands and Ben Arfa
led to the latter bursting into the area after nine minutes only to over-run
the ball and take it over the byline before shooting against the post.
play on 21 minutes between Marveaux and Gutierrez then ended with the French
debutant driving the ball across the KC six yard box. Chances continued to appear during the first half, but neither side were able
to test the opposing 'keeper and one booking per side followed for what
would be considered routine challenges in England - Cheick Tiote
inevitably seeing yellow.
A clutch of changes in the second half saw the action become more piecemeal, 18
year-old forward Soony Saad
announcing his arrival just after the hour mark by forcing Krul into action.
Ryan Taylor then fired a 78th minute free-kick narrowly wide before our
best chance fell to Danny Simpson with six minutes remaining, ghosting in from
the right and meeting a low Gutierrez centre first time. Sadly, the Toon
defender could only direct his shot at Eric Kronberg who blocked well.
KC's shooting had also left much to be desired, with Sapong finding the target
late on, but Krul looking to make the most of what was a unremarkable save.
Another step on the road towards August 13th then, but visa restrictions and
concerns over squad strength have diminished the impact of this tour in terms
of establishing anything like a settled XI. Seeing Barton and Cabaye with the
stiffs and Smith playing here tells its own story.
At present this team looks like a mix and match affair - which is what
pre-season is all about - but with injury worries never far away and ongoing
uncertainty about further departures and arrivals.