Liverpool vs Roma, Today at 6:30 pm ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/ESPN3.com
With just over a week until their first competitive match of the 2012-2013 campaign in the Europa League, the boys in red cloth from Merseyside will clash with AS Roma in Massachusetts‘ capital. Charlie Adam said that everything in camp was meant to build up to the fixture on August 2. The Reds started their North American tour in Cambridge, MA, at Harvard’s Ohiri Field, before flying to Toronto, where they would take on the city’s MLS outfit. Brendan Rodgers’ first match in charge at one of England’s most storied clubs ended in disappointment, for mainstream supporters, as the side failed to produce tiki-taka football in their 1-1 draw with Toronto.
Liverpool FC arrived back to their base practicing Monday in front of an avid crowd. Just a day before their match at Fenway Park, a squad with England internationals present, trained on the home field of their FSG partner, the Boston Red Sox.
Just two summers ago, Celtic and Sporting Lisbon played to a draw, broken only by post-match penalties. With the hoops of Scotland occupying the stadium’s third baseline and the Lisbon supporters directly across in the bleachers, the atmosphere was wonderful. Tonight’s match will certainly match that as Liverpool boast a strong Boston following, while Roma, also owned by Americans, will be down the road from Beantown’s version of Italy, the North End.
The English side announced a partnership with United States car giant Chevrolet at Boston’s hallowed ground yesterday. Owners John Henry and Tom Werner were on hand for the announcement alongside Mayor Thomas Menino, manager Brendan Rodgers, as well as Euro 2012 teammates Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard. This new business venture with the company, known best for its NASCAR vehicles, marks another LFC connection with the States after Fenway Sports Group ditched adidas for US lacrosse’s go-to manufacturers Warrior.
Serie A’s AS Roma have spent their days in Massachusetts at Harvard’s prestigious cross-town counterparts nearby the city’s Kendall Square at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dozens of the Wolves’ VIP members met their beloved team during one of the training sessions proceeding the team‘s trip from Illinois.
American Michael Bradley, who joined Roma during the summer, impressed in the Italian side’s 4-0 demolition of Poland’s Zaglebie Lubin. The match, which took place at Chicago’s famous Wrigley Field, saw the 2010 World Cup star contribute to Roma goals just minutes away from his hometown. Son of Bob Bradley, who is currently in charge of Egypt’s national side, Michael Bradley must prove himself among the likes of Francesco Totti to gain a spot in the first team, as the US international is yet to make the cut for Luis Enrique’s replacement, Zdenek Zeman of the Czech Republic.
At the age of 24, the central midfielder has played in the top flights of England, Germany, and the Netherlands. Following a 35 match stint with Chievo, the ex-MetroStar is set to embark on a new phase in his career, which has appropriately began in his native land.
Watch for Liverpool Football Club to experiment. Rodgers pledged to playing one XI per half in Canada, as he looks to adjust the side to a 4-3-3, which Jay Spearing spoke to EPL Talk about last week.
Raheem Sterling was a bright spot for the side in transition. The 17 year old has speed, skill, and pace, which he showed in a cameo appearance for the club against Wigan Athletic a few months ago, in addition to his time on the pitch last Saturday.
The new manager’s first signing, Fabio Borini, has reached his new club at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. Rodgers’ former Swansea player has cut short his summer vacation to join his new employer in the USA. From being around the Liverpool camp last week, there is considerable buzz surrounding the Italian, though few of the team’s footballers have witnessed the striker in action.
Come 6:30 EST, under the lights at Fenway Park, Liverpool Football Club will play their 1984 European Cup rivals in what promises to be a special, electrifying and passionate environment, overlooked by the most breathtaking skyline on the eastern seaboard.
Before, during and after today’s match, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.