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Spokane Velocity FC defeats CD Guadalajara U-23 in first international friendly

By Staff, 06/03/24, 10:00AM EDT


More than 4,300 fans braved rainy conditions to witness Spokane down visitors by 2-1 tally

More than 4,300 fans braved rainy conditions to witness Spokane down visitors by 2-1 tally | Image Credit: Spokane Velocity FC

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Velocity FC hosted its first international friendly on Sunday, June 2, and fans were treated to a thrilling – and at times chippy – 2-1 victory against CD Guadalajara's U-23 team. Even under rainy conditions at ONE Spokane Stadium, more than 4,300 fans flocked to the stadium in downtown Spokane.

"Matchday, whether it's a friendly or not, is always a true test of how we're doing and training," said Velocity FC Head Coach Leigh Veidman. "I think we put in a really good all-around performance."

The Lilac City and Velocity FC welcomed the international guests with open arms. Captains of each team exchanged club pennants before the first kick, Tacos Tumbras served up tacos all evening and both the American and Mexican national anthems were performed by Kinsley Murray and Jennifer Contreras, respectively, at ONE Spokane Stadium.

Impressive play from Spokane strikers Josh Dolling and Kimarni Smith led to two goals and a number of other scoring opportunities, including a goal by Smith that was taken away by an offside call, much to the dismay of the Spokane faithful. 

"No matter what game it is, it's always good to score," said Dolling, who scored his second goal of the season; the first came in the inaugural match of the season. "It's been a little while now since I've scored, so it's always great to get that confidence." 

The English striker's goal came off a pass from Luis Gil, setting up a one-on-one with Chivas goalkeeper Axel Leyva. Dolling was able to get the ball on the ground and fling it beyond the advancing keeper in the 17th minute. 

Velocity FC's defensive pressure could be felt throughout the match, as the hosts handled counters and transitions with poise, not allowing shots to reach their target. 

Late in the first half, a miscommunication between Derek Waldeck and goalkeeper Brooks Thompson resulted in an unfortunate own goal that knotted up the score. The half closed with the score sitting at one goal apiece. 

The second half brought a switch at the striker position from Dolling to Kimarni Smith. 23 minutes later, Smith put his team ahead with a great touch on a cross from an impressive trialist player who started and played the entire match. 

The trialist, who wore the number 30, made a great move in open grass to streak by a Chivas defender, and make a beautiful cross to Kimarni Smith, and his lone touch on the ball sent it past the goalkeeper. 

"[Chivas] keeps the ball out, so there's a lot more space to work with," said Smith. "I feel like observing that from the first half going into the second I felt like there were spaces we could definitely exploit them."

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