Chelsea players have now returned to London after an incredibly satisfying US tour. So successful, in fact, that it was the highest attended US tour by a Premier League club ever, based on average attendance.
During their time in the States, EPL Talk featured extensive coverage of their tour including interviews with Mikel John Obi, John Terry and Carlo Ancelotti, as well as articles such as 7 Things That We Learned From The World Football Challenge, a review of Chelsea’s 2-1 victory against AC Milan, a review of Chelsea’s 2-0 victory against Inter Milan and Chelsea’s 2-0 win against Seattle Sounders.
And now, thanks to a couple of EPL Talk readers, we have more photographs and stories from Chelsea’s US tour. The first is an article by Brandon Langley recounting his experiences before, during and after Chelsea’s game in Baltimore against AC Milan, which is then followed by a photo slideshow of the Chelsea versus Club America game courtesy of Trent Smith.
The following is written by Chelsea fan and EPL Talk reader Brandon Langley:
While driving the 11 hours from Atlanta to Baltimore, there could only be one thing on my mind, “Can my boys pull off another win in the World Football Challenge?” Needless to say looks like I worried for nothing.
As we pulled into the beautiful city of Baltimore at 9am last Friday, I happened to be lucky enough to have a new acquaintance that lived about a 10 minute walk from the stadium and the harbor.
This was my first time in Baltimore. I must admit there is a very bad reputation about it and from what I have heard, it was NOTHING like that.
The harbor was crowded in a sea of blue, and red and black. Unlike the last major match I attended, the US national team against England in a friendly in Chicago in 2005, that was nothing like this. Just walking to the stadium had an atmosphere only comparable to any major college football games. People were wearing their team’s colors and it really made me proud to see the number of supporters that are in the States.
Getting into the door and making my way to my seat and getting to see the field (which was in perfect condition) and to see Chelsea warming up was an almost overwhelming feeling, and breathtaking. I expected about 65% of fans to be for Milan since the northeast stereotype is all Italians. But wow, it had to be 50/50, if not more for the Blues.
From the first whistle, the stadium was loud and personally I couldn’t hear my own heartbeat. I’ve been to a lot of concerts and actually got to be at Fulton County Stadium to see the Atlanta Braves win the World Series in 1995, but when Drogba scored the opening goal, nothing could compare to the sound in that stadium. Deafening is the only way to describe the sound.
The game itself was above and beyond expectations. A fairly clean game, a lot of action and awesome goals and goal line saves. A true fan couldn’t ask for more, even if their team lost. Luckily the Blues won.
Leaving the stadium was hell. But with 71,000+ people leaving at once, you can’t expect it to be a walk in the park alone. It seemed as if there was only one way to leave and EVERYONE was going toward it. But after making it onto the surrounding streets it opened up quickly and the roads were setup greatly to move the fans out of the area.
I had only two complaints and it wasn’t a problem with the city or the game. In fact it was with some of the team supporters. If you are a Liverpool, Madrid or Inter supporter, why would you go and try to start badmouthing supporters of Chelsea and Milan? In fact all the Milan fans were nice, but it was the supporters of Liverpool and Manchester United who tried to start trouble.
EPL Talk reader Trent Smith kindly shared with us his photographs from his trip to the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas to see Chelsea play Club America.