Juan Mata noted Manchester United’s future was incredibly bright after youngster Tahith Chong wrestled Jose Mourinho’s men back into the game against Club America.
Man United dominated the first half, with Mata striking the woodwork, but faded as the game went on and fell behind to a bullet header.
But Chong’s introduction, along with that of Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes, changed the pace of United’s attack, with the former producing a pinpoint cross for Mata to equalise late on.
Speaking after the game, Mata spoke effusively of the academy talent at the club’s disposal.
“It is the first game of preseason and the most important thing is to get fitter and fitter, obviously we want to win but today was about getting fitter and we are so grateful for all the love we have in the States,” he said.
We knew it would be difficult because they are in a better condition they are quick and intense and they showed that. We are happy to have no injuries and keep going with our process.
“Very good news for the club and academy that we have so many kids with us and they are having a great experience with us and the future is bright with these academy players.”
United ended the game with a front three comprising of players born in the 21st century – a notion which emphasises the sheer depth and quality of the youth, fostered by Kieran McKenna and Nicky Butt, coming through the ranks thick and fast.
World Cup commitments have given these kids a remarkable chance to shine and it was Chong, the fuzzy haired right winger, who took the mantle, driving forward with verve and precision. Supporters will desperately want to see more of him.
Demetri Mitchell also displayed moments of promise starting on the left hand side, while Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood both received run-outs towards the end.