Southampton 2-0 DC United under-23's: Saints kickstart their pre-season trip with comfortable win
Puel watches his first game as Southampton manager. Photo source: Saintsfc

Southampton got their pre-season tour of America off to a solid start with a comfortable 2-0 win over DC United's under 23 team

James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez netted in either half to ensure Claude Puel started his Saints career the right way.

Puel's first game

Fans can be forgiven for not reading too much into Puel's tactics during the game, as a lot of the younger squad players were thrown straight into the starting eleven.

To add to this, an entirely different XI came out to play the second half. Five of those substitutes had never made an appearance for the first team.

The match will have given the whole squad a big fitness boost and it is likely getting minutes under the belt was more important than the result.

First half incidents

Nathan Redmond made his debut today and the first chance of the game fell at his feet but he could only hit his strike straight at the goalkeeper.

Ward-Prowse netted the opening goal in the 16th minute and it looked as if it would be one-way traffic for the remainder of the game. 

DC United goalkeeper Neidermeier made a string of saves as he denied Dusan Tadic multiple times as the game wore on.

The hosts defended bravely for the remainder of the half  and Southampton were unable to capitalise on their amount of possession.

Ward-Prowse getting his first minutes of the pre-season. Photo source: Saintsfc
Ward-Prowse getting his first minutes of the pre-season. Photo source: Saintsfc

The second period

As previously mentioned, a completely changed line up returned for the second half but the Saints still continued to dominate the match. 

The hosts did however get one shot on target after the restart, as substitute Calex volleyed wide past Harry Lewis' goal. 

Jay Rodriguez took the captain's armband for the remainder of the match and he was denied by a good block from numerous DC United defenders.

Rodriguez eventually got his goal late in the second half after converting a penalty created by youngster Sam McQueen.

Puel will be happy with what he saw from the Southampton players today. Debutants Redmond and Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg will both play a big part this season and it is important they get as much game-time as possible before the season starts.