While LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane wasn’t a winner in Houston last Saturday night, the local Irish community were in high spirits following a successful Gaelic football exhibition match at the Major League Soccer ground in Downtown Houston.
Shortly after Keane and Stevie Gerrard wilted in the 100+ degree heat, in a 3-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo, the Houston Gaels got the opportunity to demonstrate their skills at BBVA Compass stadium.
Playing two twenty minute halves, over 40 men and women participated in a highly competitive game, which included a significant contingent from fellow Texas clubs, the Austin Celtic Cowboys and Fionn MacCumhaill’s Dallas, who travelled 170 and 240 miles respectively. Typical of the distances Texas clubs travel to play against each other in the annual Texas Championship.
Philly Larkin, Chairman of the Houston Gaels, spoke of the club’s pride in being able to develop a strong relationship with the MLS team.
“This is our second year playing Gaelic Football at the home of the Houston Dynamo and we hope to grow its success year on year. Our key goal is to promote the sport to the local population and attract more American-born players, male and female. The only way this club can be successful, in the long-term, is to have a strong base of American-born players. We’re not your typical landing point for the Irish coming to America so we need strong local engagement and that’s exactly what this type of showcase provides”.
The Houston Gaels were formed in 2011 and are one of four teams located in the Lone Star State. Largely drawn from expats working in the Oil and Gas industry, the Houston Gaels continue to promote the growth of Gaelic Games in Houston and the state of Texas. www.facebook.com/houstongaels