LOS ANGELES — Stefany Ferrer Van Ginkel has played for Tigres, but now calls Angel City Football Club home.
On Wednesday night, as the teams kicked off their two-year partnership, Van Ginkel earned her first start and helped Angel City pull off a 1-0 exhibition win in front of 12,258 at Banc of California Stadium.
She joined Angel City this season from Tigres.
“It felt really good,” Van Ginkel said of playing against her former team. “To be honest, it felt like a practice on the field. When you’re playing, you’re not thinking about who you’re playing against.”
Savannah McCaskill entered the match in the second half and, in the 79th minute, she got her left foot onto a cross from Tyler Lussi and got the ball by Tigres goalkeeper for the only goal of the game.
The goal of the partnership off-the-field is to promote the development of women’s soccer and raise the profile of both clubs in the other’s country. This game should certainly help with Angel City being an expansion club and the Mexican League being in just its fifth year of existence.
“These independent partnerships will take the game to the next level,” Tigres coach Carmelina Moscato said. “People will want to be part of it and I think these two teams make a lot of sense.
“It was a special moment and unique to come here to L.A. and play. We prepared for this like it was a league match.”
Tigres currently sits in third place in the Liga MX standings after six games. In Mexico, each club has both a men’s and women’s team playing in both the Apertura and Clasura tournaments.
Angel City thought it had scored in the 36th minute when Van Ginkel connected with Hope Breslin, but Breslin was ruled offside.
With a congested schedule coming up, the match afforded Angel City coach Freya Coombe with a chance to heavily rotate her roster.
Brittany Isenhour made her first appearance in goal, defender Allyson Swaby and midfielder Katie Cousins both made their first starts, as did Van Ginkel.
Coombe made wholesale changes in the second half, bringing on more of a first-team look with Ali Riley, Tyler Lussi, Dani Weatherholt, Jun Endo, McCaskill and Cari Roccaro entering the game.
“We knew we would have a lot of squad rotation and it gave an opportunity for a lot of players who have played limited minutes,” Coombe said. “It was a great opportunity for us to do that.
“Allyson (Swaby) played a great ball out to Tyler (Lussi) that led to the goal and she looked very comfortable with the Tigres front line. Stefany came in to play against her former teammates and it was a great opportunity for her.”
Next season, Tigres will host Angel City.