As Tour 2014 comes to a close, young defender Reece James recalls his two-goal maiden appearance for United's senior team, against LA Galaxy in the Reds' first game in the States...
The day before the game, we were told the line-up and I found out I’d be playing in the second half. I was instantly nervous but also excited and looking forward to the game.
From the shape of the training sessions earlier in the week, I thought I might have a chance of being involved, but I didn’t dare believe it was actually going to happen. I rang home straight away and everyone was excited. That night I didn’t think I was going to sleep – but I did, I had probably one of my best sleeps on the tour!
On matchday I tried to relax in the morning. I watched a bit of a TV series that I’m into at the moment, just to try to take my mind off the game. Then as we got closer to the game, I started trying to think things through – what could happen in the game and things like that.
The boss told me to just enjoy the occasion. He knew it was going to be my debut and told me to go out there and play the way I normally play. Darren Fletcher told me the same thing: to relax, play my own game and not be fazed by the occasion.
As we were driving in to the Rose Bowl and I saw how many fans there were, the nerves definitely increased – it was unbelievable and it’s something I hope to see again. We did our homework on the Galaxy the night before and during the day of the game, discussing what their strengths and weaknesses were. As we neared kick-off, we made sure we had everything ticked off.
As I sat in the dugout during the first half, I had a look at some of the players I might be coming up against, working out how they were doing things, and deciding where I might be able to make an impact and help the team.