Bob Dylan’s Zimmerman Blues revisisted. Sunderland played Sacramento Republic and lost (1-0) in the first of three games in the trip our west.
And the Zimmerman in question, given a dose of the blues after seeing the Lads go down to admittedly better prepared opponents, was Eve, wife of Sunderland AFC’s owner, Ellis Short.
Eve, born Zimmerman, went to university in the area. A former tennis player, she turned out to a good sport for our man on the spot, Paul Pattison, from the Sunderland AFC North American Supporters’ Association, instantly agreeing to his request to be photographed with her.
“That’s Eve,” reports Paul, an Annfield Plain exile in the States for 37 years. “My friend Sean asked what connection she had with SAFC. She said, ‘Oh, we own it’.”
Paul made it to the match after a three-hour drive. “We drove by the Capitol and on to the Grid to start the day of with some brews at the Rind and Firestone brewery,” he says. “Temperature is a pleasant 85F. So mild locals will be going round with their sweaters on.”
Check out the Sunderland SAFC North American Supporters’ Association Facebook pages – https://www.facebook.com/safcnasa
And the match? Paul’s report is to come – UPDATE: see the report at https://safc.blog/2015/07/letter-from-america-typical-sunderland-in-sacremento-great-day-spoiled-by-football/ – but this is what safc.com’s Stuart Vose made of it:
Sunderland suffered a defeat in the first game of their pre-season trip to North America thanks to a second-half goal in Sacramento.
Substitute Cameron Iwasa netted with just his second touch after coming off the bench to win the game for the Republic, playing under new coach Paul Buckle for the first time.
Steven Fletcher hit the bar in the first half for Sunderland, who are in action again on Friday against Mexican club Pachuca.
Dick Advocaat made four substitutions at half time and another midway through the second period as he rotated his squad for the first game of the tour.
A strong side started the game, with Jack Rodwell making his first pre-season appearance after his wife gave birth recently, and Adam Matthews starting for the first time.
The USL side – in the middle of their domestic season and eager to impress new boss Buckle – started brightly and had the visitors on the front foot early on.
The full report is at http://www.safc.com/news/team-news/2015/july/sacramento-v-safc-report
But this is the clincher …
Advocaat made four subsitutions at the break, with Matthews, O’Shea, Emanuele Giaccherini and Fletcher replaced by Will Buckley, Connor Wickham, Danny Graham and Liam Bridcutt.
… but the noisy Sacramento support were celebrating after their side took the lead just before the hour.
Iwasa, who had entered the action off the substitutes’ bench just moments before, had an instant impact as he picked up possession just outside the box and slipped a left-footed shot into the bottom corner beyond Mannone.
And it could have been worse, Sacramento continuing to make SAFC second best, according to Stuart’s report. Watmore had a decent shot towards the end but you can bet Advocaat will be talking up the fitness value not the performance.