Villarreal’s cantera is three for three today. The Juvenil A squad, competing in the Dallas Cup, defeated New York City FC 3-2 and advance to play defending champions Tigres UANL on Sunday at 3PM Dallas time. Tigres defeated Monterrey Rayados 3-2; the final brings together the only two undefeated teams in the competition.
Villarreal B made the trip to Teruel, Spain’s smallest provincial capital (when you fly into Valencia you pass over it, and it looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere) and came away with a 2-0 win; goals were by Ramón Bueno and Nikola. That win puts us up to second, on 58 points, with Herculés facing Sabadell tomorrow, needing a win to hit 58 as well. Fouth-placed Cornellá have the automatic three points as they were supposed ot play Ontinyent, so they will be on 54.
Villarreal C defeated Alzira 1-0 and are now ninth in their Tercera División group on 47 points. They can’t make the playoffs, but they can’t be relegated either. They’ve been in the Tercera for quite awhile now (since the mid-2000’s, I believe).
Meanwhile, the Villarreal Yellow Cup Easter is going on—it’s a youth tournament, with matches for all sorts of ages, from the Prebenjamin (under 8’s) to the Juvenil (16-18’s). And girls’ under 12s and under 16s, too. It’s mostly Spanish sides, but Derby County have a U16 side there. Samu Chukwueze and Karl Toko Ekambi signed autographs for the kids, but the other story is the weather.
The weather in eastern Spain continues to be terrible. If you saw any of the match from the Mestalla yesterday, that’s basically been continuing. Teruel’s field was practically a swamp for the Villarreal B match; meanwhile, with a decent crowd expected for the Leganés match on Sunday, and more heavy rain expected, Villarreal are making preparations.
If you’ve ever been to the Ceramica, or are familiar with it, you know that many of the seats are not covered. The team has on occasion just reallocated everyone seats in covered sections; this can work if the crowd is not big and the game is not that crucial (this is what happened to Alisa and me a couple of years back; we watched Sevilla in a driving rain and the crowd was maybe 10,000, all under cover) but with the match on Sunday being a crucial one for us, the team is providing thousands of yellow ponchos with hoods for the fans who will be sitting exposed to the elements. And we are also offering all sorts of incentives to attend—if you’re a season ticket holder and can’t come, there is a way to pass it off to someone else.
With Valladolid’s draw, we have more opportunity to move away from the bottom three. More on that tomorrow once the Celta-Girona and Rayo-Huesca results are known!