Man City's Houston friendly in doubt due to weather

Owen Coyle at on the pitch before the Scottish Premiership Play Off final at Easter Road,Edinburghn.
Image: Owen Coyle

Manchester City’s proposed post-season friendly with Houston Dynamo has been thrown into doubt after a state of emergency was declared in Texas due to extreme weather.

At least 11 people have been killed in the deluge in Texas and Oklahoma and Houston streets have been turned into rivers, with motorists having to abandon vehicles on busy roads.

The City squad are currently in Canada but are due to fly to Houston to take on Owen Coyle’s Dynamo side in Thursday’s fixture.

However the game has been thrown into doubt as thousands are without power and residents have been advised to stay off the roads.

Dynamo manager Owen Coyle said Monday night’s extreme weather saw the area battered relentlessly.

He said: “Prior to last night it had been very nice but then it was incredible. I think normally in the month of May five inches of rain falls but there was 10 inches in six hours last night so the whole city has been very badly affected by it. Everybody is trying to make the best of a difficult situation.

“A lot of the roads have looked like rivers. We normally start training at 10am and we had to put that back to 2pm to try and allow the players get into training. But in adversity people stick together and work ever so hard to put things right.”

The former Wigan and Burnley boss said people at the club were desperate to ensure the game goes ahead as Dynamo look to show off their new stadium and host last year’s Premier League champions.

He added: “Everybody at the club and in the city are desperate to see the elite of Manchester City and what we were doing was putting in a new pitch for them but the weather has curtailed that a little.

“But everybody is working ever so hard to make sure that is put in place and the game goes ahead because it will be a fantastic occasion to bring Manchester City to Houston Dynamo.

“I spoke to (City assistant) Brian Kidd this morning. He rang me from Toronto just wanting to know about everything that’s going on. He and I go way back so I was quite happy to tell him we’re doing everything in our power to make sure the game goes ahead.

“It’s huge; the game will be sold out, which we have done on a number of occasions this season. We have a fantastic stadium – 22,000 all new, two years old, all-seater stadium and they are magnificent surroundings.

“We want to do Houston Dynamo justice and I brought Bolton Wanderers here to the old stadium and now when you see what the new stadium is like you want elite clubs such as Manchester City playing on that field so hopefully, weather permitting, we can get everything pulled together and we can show Manchester City the hospitality that they’re used to.”

Coyle, who took over at Dynamo in December last year, said he is enjoying his time in the MLS, a league which he believes is growing all the time.

And he pointed to the impact made by former Wigan star Shaun Maloney at Chicago Fire as an example of the growing list of talented players from the UK leaving their mark Stateside.

He said: “We’ve got wonderful people at a fantastic club and the MLS is growing every year, attracting fantastic players in their prime. Look at Toronto bringing (Sebastian) Giovinco in and Stevie Gerrard with Frank Lampard coming over and it’s taking it to another level and that’s important.

“It is progressing every year and, for our own part, the team is doing well, we’re just off the play-offs and we have our own major signing coming in in Cubo Torres, the young Mexican international on July 1, so these are exciting times for everyone.

“Shaun is a player I had at Wigan, who I think the world of, making a great impact, so it is certainly the place to be.”

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