Everton ran out 1-0 winners over Pumas of Mexico in Orlando this evening in the second of their two exhibition matches over in the United States.
Having won the Florida Cup on penalties against Millonarios on Sunday, the Blues were hoping for another good run-out to further the fitness of the squad and for players to impress new manager Rafael Benitez.
Moise Kean scored the only goal but it could have been a few more for Everton who looked sharp and inventive on occasions.
The Blues could have gone ahead straight away when Demarai Gray, again one of the standouts on the night, nipped in ahead of a defender to intercept the ball before clipping a cross to Kean.
The Italian brought it down on his chest but his volleyed shot was fairly tame and was comfortably saved.
Kean mis-timed his connection on Lucas Digne's cross shortly afterwards while Asmir Begovic had to be alert at the other end to tip an effort over the crossbar as Pumas threatened for the first time.
It was Gray who set Kean up for the game's only goal with an excellent through-ball that put the striker in one-on-one with the keeper. His initial shot was straight at Julio Gonzalez, and was saved but it squirmed under the goalie's body and Kean was able to round him to knock the loose ball into the empty net.
Kean had an overhead kick clearly blocked by a defender's hand but, bizarrely, the referee awarded a goal-kick as Everton threatened to extend their lead later in the first half.
Early in the second, Pumas went close while Nathan Broadhead's mazy run almost created an opening and Anthony Gordon saw a powerful drive parried by the keeper and Abdoulaye Doucouré side-footed the wrong side of the post when well-placed.
James Rodriguez, on at the break, looked certain to score midway through the second period but was foiled superbly before Joao Virginia, on for Begovic, made back-to-back saves as the Mexican outfit finished the game more strongly.
Everton: Begovic (46' Virginia), Coleman (46' Kenny), Godfrey (46' Holgate), Keane (71' Gibson), Digne [Y:68'] (71' Anderson), Davies (46' Allan), Gomes (46' Doucouré), Iwobi (46'Rodriguez), Townsend (46' Gordon), Gray (46' Gbamin), Kean (46' Broadhead (81' Whitaker)).
Subs not Used: Tyrer.
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Reader Comments (79)
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1 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:26:30
3 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:27:45
4 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:31:54
No idea what Pumas will be like, though I believe they have started their domestic league, so should be sharp and fit, like Millionarios and will hopefully give us a good test. Going off Twitter they have a slightly unusual asymmetric formation, kind of a 4-4-2 with one forward deep and to the left of the main striker, the right winger advanced and one of the midfielders sitting deep. If they actually setup that way it should prove interesting!
Reports are it's hot again though not quite as bad as Sunday. Pretty sure James will come in at h/t, he's the main draw so will surely play a full 45.
5 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:33:06
Hopefully I can stay awake and find a stream.
6 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:35:16
7 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:36:17
8 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:38:26
9 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:54:02
10 Posted 28/07/2021 at 22:55:33
11 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:00:48
12 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:03:45
Can Mo Kean show he's the real deal?
Can our new wingers provide the width, pace and creativity?
Is Iwobi a nobody?
I know the rest.
13 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:04:36
14 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:06:00
15 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:10:20
16 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:13:16
So Ive been told!,,, ahem.
17 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:20:51
18 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:24:55
19 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:28:24
20 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:31:02
21 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:37:52
He and Townsend swapped wings about 18m in.
Iwobi struggling to impact the game centrally. Davies won a couple soft fouls, the way he does.
22 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:55:18
23 Posted 28/07/2021 at 23:56:04
24 Posted 28/07/2021 at 00:03:59
The defence has been solid, Digne the standout. Coleman hasn't got forward much on the right. Midfield has generally controlled possession without doing much damage. Davies has bought several really weak fouls, clever but risky if the ref doesn't buy it. He got away with one when replay showed he coughed the ball up: a worry. Gomes, neat in possession but can't recall anything incisive from him, just recycling possession. Gave a couple of cheap FKs away. So pretty typical from those two
Townsend quiet, not poor just not involved, on both sides. Gray very impressive, primarily on the left. Iwobi, played through by Kean, should probably score, or hit the target. Otherwise he's dropped deep to collect the ball, but aside from a few nice passes out wide nothing spectacular. One sloppy giveaway. Kean leading the line well enough and looks interested again. Quick and strong. A bit lucky to get a second chance for his goal. Nice interplay to set up Iwobi at the end of the half.
Expecting 3-4 changes for the 2nd half.
25 Posted 28/07/2021 at 00:04:27
Amazing what a bit of pace and direct running can do for a team. Kean a little lucky with the goal, but its still a goal. He's done OK but runs away from the ball to often.
Iwobi and Gomes just not doing enough. Everyone else decent.
26 Posted 29/07/2021 at 00:10:39
Decent stuff from Moise Kean and we should have been awarded a handball penalty. Agree that Gray is looking good.
27 Posted 29/07/2021 at 00:21:49
28 Posted 29/07/2021 at 00:23:17
Agreed Ed, clear pen 1st half, the Pumas defender's arms were all over the place.
29 Posted 29/07/2021 at 00:59:04
30 Posted 29/07/2021 at 01:12:28
Moving the ball around faster.
Using my expert lip reading I could tell that Ben was saying we will win the league by at least 10 points and probably win the FA Cup as well.
Who could possibly argue.
31 Posted 29/07/2021 at 01:17:57
Good to see the youngsters and new recruits properly involved, and JP looking comfortable. The manager also seemed to be enjoying himself.
32 Posted 29/07/2021 at 01:19:43
Of note: Allan was poor, one good long pass to Broadhead aside, he gave away the ball in poor areas a few times, looks nowhere near the required level as yet. Probably needs a good hour against United in the last preseason game. Doucoure was much better than Sunday, got forward a few times. Gbamin was OK, just great seeing him on the field, should be an asset this season, touch wood. Rodriguez, couple good passes and great chance, point blank but hit it right at the keeper. Coughed up possession a couple of times early in the half. Spent the last 10m playing as a false 9 where he was ineffective. Doesn't look match fit yet. Broadhead didn't look out of place again, worked hard and good speed, done himself a few favours so far. Gordon was much better than Sunday, direct, taking on defenders and got in a couple nice crosses from the byline, James should have converted one. The rest of the youngsters did fine. Holgate was composed. Kenny, linked up well to almost get on the end of a pass from Gbamin but the 'keeper beat him to it, just about. Otherwise a couple of mistakes and still don't think he has a place in the 1st team going forward.
33 Posted 29/07/2021 at 01:24:56
34 Posted 29/07/2021 at 01:27:18
35 Posted 29/07/2021 at 01:42:29
I dont think Kean is good enough but we cant let him go again and not get any reinforcements in
36 Posted 29/07/2021 at 01:58:10
37 Posted 29/07/2021 at 02:06:39
Gbamin looked really good as did Gordon. Gordon needs to shoot rather than try to get into a better position. Iwobi better in the middle, he isnt a winger. Gray solid again. James ok but again, not at full fitness. He grew into the match though. Townsend didnt see enough of the ball. Coleman great. Kean dangerous on numerous occasions and deserved his goal. Broadbent good. Gomes better with several good one touch passes to break pressure. Virginia in the second half with several good saves.
Pumas in preseason as well but overall, they did well. Their GK played very well in the second half denying Everton chances.
Great to see Everton in the USA.
38 Posted 29/07/2021 at 03:07:59
39 Posted 29/07/2021 at 04:17:36
And like us they played with their backup keeper... the starting keeper is Mexico's #1 and is playing in the Gold Cup.
40 Posted 29/07/2021 at 06:08:22
If we can keep Gbamin fit, hell be our most important player this upcoming season. Hes an absolute beast in midfield. Hes bulked up since the injury but as the supposed Gana replacement, hes so much more. Allan does the Gana stuff, but Gbamin is a different kettle of fish. He probably reminds me most of a better Loftus-Cheek type player due to his size, and an number of other blues tonight said he reminded them of a Jan Molby type due to his size and build/play. Along with JPG, what weve seen from Grey, he can play anywhere in the 3 behind the number 9 and cause a ton of issues. Im hoping hell finally step up to the potential he once had.
Now going off fan/player interaction during the evening. James had no interest in the traveling contingent. James was again pandering to the Colombian contingent, not our fans. I firmly believe hell be gone within a few weeks after this trip. The club used him to get their moneys worth out of South American fan base as a marketing tool. Sundays game he paid no attention to the large section of blues, only focusing on the Colombian fans in the opposite end. Again today he only really interacted with the sections with Colombian shirts on.
Many of the players enjoyed the positive vocal interaction from the fans (which they really havent had for 18 months). Unsurprisingly Iwobi was the only player who didnt respond back from cheers and chants from the fans tonight. Even Kean had a half hearted wave when his name was sung.
Overall, these two games have shown that our style of play is basically going to be the same as last season, only with some more speed from the wings. Its not going to be pretty, but the commitment is there.
41 Posted 29/07/2021 at 07:07:38
Just had a look at the highlights. As always, not getting carried away with a pre-season, but from the glimpses I saw, Kean looked lively.
The next 2 weeks will be interesting in terms of comings and goings; if any? I personally don't think that's it, but let's see what happens.
42 Posted 29/07/2021 at 07:17:08
Still not sure about Moise Kean, he seems to lack commitment in front of goal at times expecting the ball to be teed up, and wanting too much time, which you will definitely not get in the Premier League. Broadhead and Gordon did enough second half to show that could be valuable squad members if retained. I have a feeling Anthony may go on loan again. Seamus and Digne were the pick of the defenders with Godfrey being solid as expected, Begovic proving that he is a safe pair of hands if called upon.
Be interesting to see in the Man Utd game next week what the nucleus of the team is, which should give a clue as to the starting eleven a week later. Apart from the International absentees, I still think we need at least a couple more quality players through the door to bolster the team and squad.
Gray and Townsend look to be very good acquisitions with minimal outlay already, and haven't put a foot wrong in an Everton shirt. Still need to ship a few out but it is a slow process unfortunately, 'new lamps for old', works in Aladdin, but not with us.
43 Posted 29/07/2021 at 07:35:50
Rafa has his ideas of what he expects. We did use the wings in the first half and zipped the ball around trying to create chances. Sorry to say Davies doesnt look good enough for all his effort. Doucoure and Allan picked up where they left off from last season.
Moise Kean has to control the ball better, but unless there are some ins and outs, I fear a repeat of last season.
44 Posted 29/07/2021 at 07:55:52
45 Posted 29/07/2021 at 07:57:14
Gray and Townsend both look lively, but too many players seem to be picking up from where they left off last season - sluggish, inaccurate passing, lots of huff and puff but not much end product.
46 Posted 29/07/2021 at 08:24:31
I observed many Evertonians complain about Lukaku's touch and control but the guy consistently scored 20+ goals a season.
Ideally, I'd love the complete striker, but if we have someone who can score goals but lacks a bit of a touch, I'd take that. And he's only 21. Don't get me wrong, I don't anticipate him being here next season, but I'd like him to be to give us other options. It's like Calvert-Lewin. He's a good "in the box" striker, but not the complete one in the sense Harry Kane is.
I've said many times, Linekar was not the greatest footballer in the purist sense. But he scored 40 goals in one season.
@Bill. I would like to keep Rodriguez. Again, I don't think we will and we're looking like we're going back to "dig in" Everton. But unless we break that mould, we'll never break the glass ceiling.
City are a good example. You can accommodate players like that if you surround them with better ones and have depth. That's our problem. We can have a player like James who only manages half a season, but when he plays is influential. City done it. Aguero spent much of his time there on the sidelines, but when he did play, he was influential and will always be remembered for that magical moment.
If we want grafters, we'll just keep grafting. We need better players and we need winners.
47 Posted 29/07/2021 at 09:32:07
48 Posted 29/07/2021 at 09:41:23
49 Posted 29/07/2021 at 09:42:19
50 Posted 29/07/2021 at 09:48:30
51 Posted 29/07/2021 at 09:51:36
52 Posted 29/07/2021 at 09:55:14
53 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:14:29
Kean obviously has something or are you telling me that Italy, Juventus and PSG are all wrong?
The big difference between his form for us and PSG is that they actually played him for more than 5 minutes a game
As for James, he is clearly the most talented player to wear the blue shirt in many a year.
Hes played all of the preseason games so far which suggests to me he might just be with us for next season.
I believe we offer him a great opportunity to play regularly and get himself back in the national team and possibly a decent offer when his contract expires next year.
54 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:24:56
Your right, Kean has talent and if we can't buy better then he could provide us with a good option in attack. As for James, it's unlikely we would find anyone with talent anywhere near as classy as him. Then there's Gomes. He might well be able to give us performances like he showed when he first came to us.
It look like it is going to be a very fine balancing act regarding transfers this summer and maybe future ones. Interesting times, as they say.
55 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:28:00
Not quite what Evertonians would find acceptable but it may well be the reality !
56 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:29:13
JP is a huge bonus as is Gray on what we have seen so far. Hopefully Brands can move a couple on now and make a couple more astute purchases. It would be nice to see a youngster come through - maybe Gordon or Branthwaite- but looks like young Whittaker was there for experience as I dont think he had any game time?
The Man U game puzzles me- why risk a blow to confidence by playing them away the week before the season starts? We struggled with them last season and we will have to be well at it to avoid damage.
Maybe I am being too pessimistic too early!
57 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:39:06
Get it out of him every game? No. But then that's partly down to the nature of the modern squad rotation oriented game.
To label players like that as luxury means we want to accept mediocre grafters who try hard. Now I appreciate every player should try hard and give their all. I believe James does when he's on the pitch.
To get the most out of players like Rodriguez, you need better players throughout. That's our problem, not James. If we are to progress, we need more of that type of quality, not less.
As always, in my opinion.
Agree Dave, seems strange playing a fellow Premier League competitor a week or so before the season starts. Did I see them play Brentford last night?
58 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:45:28
59 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:46:55
As regards Rodriguez, he's not match fit yet, that's clear; some players just get fit faster than others. He has the touch, vision and passing range that the rest of our team will never have, however. I kind of believe that, whilst not transfer-listed, the rumours that we will consider reasonable bids on him are true. I do not believe the player is agitating for a move and I also don't believe we'll push him out the door on the cheap either. If we can add another 2-3 quality players I think this will have a strong motivating factor on him. Right now I'd say it is better than 50-50 that he'll stay. I big pointer will be if and how much he plays against United.
Jim #54 I haven't read Paul's article yet so you'll have to excuse any incorrect assumptions, but the EPL's Profit and Sustainability rules mean we need to prioritize selling players for maximum profit, to have meaningful effect on our position. So, for example buying Kean for ~ £27m and selling him for ~ £30m would make little sense, as would selling Richy for just a small profit (I think Marca suggested something like £45m last week, which would be pointless).
Obviously accepting a big bid for DCL would transform our financial situation, as we only paid £1.5m and he'd go for north of £50m, I'd imagine. £20m for James (a free transfer) would I think be tempting, but obviously the usefulness of the player is a big factor. Holgate would help, if we could interest a team in him. Guys like Gomes, Iwobi, Keane etc were all brought in for high fees and would be sold at a loss.
The wage that the player is on would be important too, as it reduces our overall spend, hence why Bernard is gone. I think Rodriguez is only considered to be our 7th (or 9th) highest-paid player, interestingly.
60 Posted 29/07/2021 at 10:55:18
Whitaker came on for the last 10 minutes. Played in an advanced role on the right. Showed one nice collect and turn, but also hit a pass out of play to an invisible runner! It was actually a good idea, a quick turn and long pass to the left flank but looked bad as there was no blue within 20 yards.
61 Posted 29/07/2021 at 11:06:42
I'm thinking that given, the chance to gain in confidence, he could be a very important element in our bid for a Top 6 slot.
62 Posted 29/07/2021 at 11:22:39
A proper finisher would take the ball closer to the goalie and commit him then slot the other way - or simply go round him - he lacked the skill to do either. He has pace to get there just not the ability to execute on arrival. Massively ordinary he was fortunate the ball fell nicely to rectify an amateur strike.
Noticeably the congrats from the other players were very perfunctory.
We need to get real with this fella he is a 25m player, tops, and needs shifting asap.
63 Posted 29/07/2021 at 11:38:21
64 Posted 29/07/2021 at 11:46:15
James is a win win situation for us. Hes an asset to EFC. We keep him and we get all the associated media attention and boost our reach and profile into Latin America. Dont forget he can change games with a moment of brilliance against any club from the bench or as a starter for the first 60 minutes. Some of his passes create goals that change tight games. If he goes it will be on our terms which at around the quoted 10m sounds reasonable.
The three new boys Gray, Townsend and Bergovic who cost us a combined 1.6m is looking excellent business. Its early days but I think we have strengthened the squad very well so far for no net outlay, whilst simultaneously trimming the wage bill. Good work.
65 Posted 29/07/2021 at 12:27:54
I think there is more to it with James' displays yesterday, ine the first game Colombians rooted for him against Colombians and he got up to it, in the second game against Mexicans he took it too easy - lack of mental preparedness imo. So my bet is he'll step it up against Man United in a week or so.
66 Posted 29/07/2021 at 13:28:08
67 Posted 29/07/2021 at 13:28:49
One or two players were a little lacklustre but hopefully Rafa has everyone well tuned in to what he wants in time for the Soton game.
Kean may be needed for that first game as Richarlison will still be in Japan but then again Rafa has one or two options.
68 Posted 29/07/2021 at 13:57:51
I saw Kean's discomfort with a ball during his Juve show-reel the clumsy finish of the Puma game is nothing new. The token gesture congrats from his team mates tells you his non-existent relationship with the club is beyond repair. He needs shipping out, pronto
69 Posted 29/07/2021 at 14:44:23
70 Posted 29/07/2021 at 15:12:14
That being the case, it's hardly worth talking about him or his performances for us really, is it? James's future may be less certain, but again, I think we might as well forget about him. If he stays, fine, but it's pretty unlikely. And if he does, it's unlikely he'll be very motivated come the winter when he starts getting his poorly calf again.
71 Posted 29/07/2021 at 15:43:05
72 Posted 29/07/2021 at 16:18:49
Im sure I will be corrected if I have this wrong!
73 Posted 29/07/2021 at 16:38:11
74 Posted 29/07/2021 at 17:24:53
The examples you use both played in a championship winning team surrounded by equally minded winners, so they didn't look like luxury players. I would add Kevin Sheedy to that. In this team, I'd argue we'd be labelling a modern day Sheedy a luxury player.
The problem we have now is that anyone of that standard looks like a luxury player because the others are not of similar standard or quality. It's what you surround them with.
I do get what you're saying, and a successful team takes a mix of players. I just don't think the answer is to get rid of players like James even though that is probably out out of our hands. We need more of a better quality if we want to be successful.
75 Posted 29/07/2021 at 18:10:56
I for one think only players who wish to play for Everton should be cherished.
76 Posted 29/07/2021 at 19:10:28
It's very complicated but it seems to be that we're already about 45 million over the danger limit (but don't take that from me as gospel !!!)Paul's article is very informative about what situation we're in.
It looks like the Transfer market, as far as we are concerned, is likely to work against us and that's why PSG will only offer to take him on loan. The likes of Iwobo, Gomes, Kean himself, Richarlison, should we want top sell them, we might well find we get paltry offers, or nowt but loan deals. Also, we're not likely to be able to buy in top class players because of the financial straight jacket. The article is well worth a read...it's eye opening and gives a realistic assessment of our chances of "getting rid of "dead wood" we might bwe lumbered with it; and have to make do and mend.
77 Posted 29/07/2021 at 23:23:05
78 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:00:12
79 Posted 30/07/2021 at 11:38:50
I'd love to see him live, so just for that, I hope he stays; but I also think he'd be a useful member of the squad.
80 Posted 31/07/2021 at 13:57:56
Not sure it works that way re transfers.
I think from an accounting perspective players transfer fees are amortised over the length of their contracts. So, for example, we buy someone for £50m offering a 5 year contract. The £50m is the players value day one. However, every year into the contract the players value is reduced by £10m (I.e. £50m/5years).
So in your Kean example, his value in our books today would not be the £27m we paid for him, but proportionally less depending on initial contract length and how long hes got left.
Things get a little complicated when players have contract extensions and you get the bizarre situation that players who come through the youth academies have no value, as we never bought them.
These were the rules from an accounting perspective a few years back and Im not sure theyve changed since. Essentially it means the official books of clubs dont really reflect reality. (Extreme example going back to the 90s. The Man U class of ‘92 all had no value in the clubs accounts as they came through the youth academies).
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