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Which EPL Club Had the Most Successful US Tour This Summer? [POLL]

Now that the six Premier League clubs who toured the United States this summer have returned to their homeland, which of the six clubs had the most successful US tour?

I’m not interested in who played the best, or won the most matches. I’m more interested in hearing from you who you thought had the best impact from a marketing and public relations perspective? Who ended up winning more hearts and minds on this US summer tour? Who did the best job of embracing America and winning new fans?

Feel free to post your reasons why in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing your opinions.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

31 Responses to Which EPL Club Had the Most Successful US Tour This Summer? [POLL]

  1. Ivan says:

    I had the misfortune of seeing only one PL team this summer, and it was the worst of them all, Stoke City.

    I saw in person what I already knew from watching them on a weekly basis: Stoke City is the worst, ugliest, most thuggish team in footballing history.

    I saw them beat Orlando City last Saturday in front of 10,000 plus at the Citrus Bowl.

    The closest that comes to a footballer in this side is Etherington (Sorensen doesn’t count but he is a damn good goalie). They couldn’t put 2 passes together, lots of kickin’ and runnin’, zero creativity and shocking amount of thugs on the team.

    Speaking of thugs, Huth should have been sent off in the first half for a WWE style bodycheck on a player from the Orlando team.

    Who gave Shawcross a visa into the United States? He is a dangerous human being who should not be allowed to leave Stoke on Trent! Ever! He started a couple of brawls and tried to punch an Orlando player right in front of me.

    Whelan with a red card, stay classy there!

    Crouchie worked hard and assisted for the goal, Walters took his goal beautifully and ran his socks off as well, but all in all, the world will be a better place if Stoke City goes down a couple of divisions. And soon!

    It won’t happen this year, though: Norwich, Swansea, Wigan, Southampton are prime candidates to go down this season. Stoke, with all the negatives listed above, will be very difficult to beat.

    I understand that Stoke doesn’t have the money to buy quality players, but this is not an excuse to have a team made of anti-footballers.

    • Matt says:

      agree, laughable at the people who defend them. Stoke fans are also very delusional people, I went on their message board last summer and their views on football…wow is all I can say, its like they don’t want players who can control the ball and pass

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      Ivan, in the kingdom of the blind (nu-fans) the one-eyed man is king. How’s that crown fitting you there?

    • Guy says:

      Ahh, the ever handy “Let’s bash Stoke”. Well, knock yourself out. It’s obviously easier than paying attention to facts:

      http://soccernet.espn.go.com/stats/fairplay/_/league/eng.1/year/2011/barclays-premier-league?cc=5901

      • IanCransonsKnees says:

        Nice spot there Guy, I’m sure they don’t expect such a reasonable and eminently sensible riposte.

        If you look at this table for top scoring individuals you’ll see that there are four Arsenal players on a total of 34 disciplinary points, as opposed to three Stoke players on a total of 23 disciplinary points. I mean, how on earth can that be the case when all we do is hack everybody down in sight according to Ivan et al? Surely there must be something wrong when two of those Arsenal players are ranked as higher placed dirty b@$tards than Ryan Shawcross? I mean fairs fair, looking at those tables one would have to say that if Ivan’s commentary on Stoke’s methods of play is correct then his take on Arsenal’s discipline must be X-rated by comparison.

        http://soccernet.espn.go.com/stats/discipline/_/league/eng.1/year/2011/barclays-premier-league?cc=5739

        I suppose they follow Wenger’s mantra of never letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

    • GB says:

      I suppose the Yanks dont see many real men playing a mans game with all those Puffs in The States ( I can see now why its called The State) . You lot had better stick to your wrestling and keep to the script , all set up , how can that be sport , even the ref is in with the wrestlers … sad old place the State ..

    • TF says:

      Hahahahaha. Arsenal fan. Nuff said.

  2. Paul says:

    i think Tottenham did.

    Swansea close second.

    Liverpool are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Until they can offload Carroll, then they will be stuck in limbo.

    Chelsea still doesn’t know who is going to be their CF. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sturridge overtakes torres or lukaku in the pecking order(unless Chelsea signs a new CF or if Chelsea is too worried about accomodating Torres).

  3. gbewing says:

    Tottenham seemed to have the most buzz and marketing strikes just based on how many stories EPL did on this site as well as their ability to touch major US markets. They also brought Bale despite Olympic controversy.

    I saw only Stoke play as well vs Sporting KC reserves- wow really unimpressive. Our reserve team played them 0-0 first half and Sporting was the team attacking and closest to scoring. Stoke was better in 2nd half but Walters got stoned by the gk on a break away and were gifted a soft penalty late but in stoppage time Begocivic gave away one of the flukiest and amatuerist goals I can recall. Even so I valued seeing an EPL team live just to get a sense of size and conditioning differences in the leagues. I have no illusuions about EPL vs MSL teams and Stoke was clearly a more talented group but I was not won over regarding their footballing and I can’t imagine young fans being mesmorized for the future. Stoke also blew it by not even having kits on sale and other ways to market in the States.

  4. James says:

    Spurs had the most successful tour and they playes very well, Chelsea were second best and Liverpool were disappointing given all the hype about their new tiki taka system. I’m sure Liverpool will eventually get it right but presently they are in limbo.

  5. evan says:

    I’d have to say Chelsea did.

    I was at the Chelsea vs. AC Milan match and at least 80% of the crowd was pro chelsea. I loved how everyone near me went crazy when Torres came on. His first touch of the match didn’t live up to the cheers though haha.

  6. It depends on what you define as success. I think from a marketing standpoint, it is remarkable how much Chelsea have grown their brand in the States. Case in point, the way they overwhelmingly outnumbered the other teams in fan support.

  7. The Gaffer says:

    I voted for Chelsea.

    From a marketing perspective, Chelsea made the most in-roads this summer playing in front of massive crowds in Seattle, New York and Miami. The number of Chelsea fans is certainly growing.

    I’m surprised that Tottenham is currently leading the poll. There were plenty of empty seats in their game against New York. Plus, Tottenham was not open at all to conducting many interviews on this tour. I heard from a source at a major US sports network that AVB was not willing to allow interviews with him or players, while the team was in LA. I’m sure if Redknapp was still manager, it would have been a different story entirely.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  8. John F says:

    Aston Villa and Stoke were in the USA? What?

  9. Squeekster says:

    Ivan its about staying in the prem and being on that gravy train you say you watch Stoke every week,i don’t believe you.Lat season was a poor season for us but don’t believe all the crap spouted in the press or your EPL channel.

    As for being thugs they gave as good as they got so you stick to watching Arsenal as they play the so called right way don’t but have won the square root of f**k all for the past 7 or 8 seasons.

  10. Jamo says:

    I love how some of you can get so worked up about us!

    Why are you even bothered what division Stoke play in?

    I don’t care what league the Oakland Lizards are in because it really doesn’t concern me.

    The day I start worrying about American sport is the day I give up on sport.

    Thankfully not all Americans are so one-eyed and by all accounts we were received very well and looked after superbly by your fellow countrymen.

    Hope you enjoy the Arsenal game and are able to have a good old fashioned girly hissy fit about us afterwards.

    Yours in (real) football (the one with people being kicked and tripped and all those other nasty things)

    (Premier League) Stoke City F.C.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Most Americans who have been following the Premier League for several years appreciate Stoke City. The supporters are the loudest in the league, and the side plays a unique brand of football. I respect Stoke.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  11. Lawryleslie says:

    Stoke fans delusional?? Most Stoke fans actually understand the inadequacies of their club and the difficulties of attracting top class players to a mid table team in an unsavoury part of the country. What Stoke City FC do have is a very loyal fanbase who understand that their style of football will give the club the best chance of surviving in the Premier League. Thugs they certainly are not, committed players who will give their all for the club they most certainly are. I have been a Stoke fan for nearly half a century and would never, ever consider supporting any other team. Whereas fans of top teams come and go depending on the success of their team, most Stoke fans will and have followed their team through ups of Wembley, Europa League, promotion and the downs of third tier football and owners who couldn’t give a monkey about the club and it’s fans.
    So go and watch the fancy teams paying ludicrous wages for mediocre, self centred players who only put in a performance if their agent has managed to negotiate a better deal on the 3yr contract signed 3 months ago. Or refusing to play because they have thrown their teddy bear out of the pram due to some petulant tantrum but suddenly deciding all is ok when there is silver ware to be won.

    No, give me my beloved Stoke City every time. Frustrating, one-kick team they may be but that’s fine by me.

  12. MCP says:

    What’s the point in this?

    Pre-season friendlies are played with one thing in mind: fitness. The point of them isn’t to win, it isn’t to play silky football, it isn’t about “winning more hearts and minds” – it’s solely to get your players back to a good level of fitness. Obviously it would be wonderful if a team can do all of those things in their friendlies, but no one’s going to lose any sleep if their team plays badly or loses in a friendly match.

    The only success you want from a pre-season tour is getting your players get fit and prepared for the new season.

    • The Gaffer says:

      MCP, it used to be that way, yes. But times have changed. If clubs wanted their footballers to get fit and prepared fot the new season, they’d play all of their friendlies against non-league and lower league clubs in England, like they used to do.

      Fitness and preparation for the new season is still priority number one, but clubs go overseas to land new sponsorship deals, generate revenue from ticket and merchandise sales, and make new fans.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  13. MCP says:

    Some of the bigger clubs have that aim, but I very much doubt that the smaller teams do.

    I understand that in their pre-season travels Stoke first spent a week in Switzerland because of the mountainous terrain. Nothing gets you fitter than running up and down mountains all day. As for their US travels, Stoke’s matches have been played in rather hot temperatures. In England we rarely get the type of warm weather that you get in certain areas of America, so the vastly different climate is used to get the fitness levels up. If you’re fit enough to play 90 minutes in 30 degree celsius heat, then you’ll easy be fit enough to play in the colder climate we have in England.

    Indeed, the bigger teams will undoubtedly use their pre-season tours to attract fans and advertising, but the smaller teams won’t really have the same aims, mainly because they can’t come close to competing with the big clubs. It’s widely known that many foreign fans of the Premier League tend to be ‘gloryhunters’ that support the big teams just because they’re successful. Swansea, Stoke and Aston Villa are all mid-table clubs with little recent success, so how many American fans are really going to be interested in supporting in them, when they could as easily ‘support’ Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd or Spurs?

    • The Gaffer says:

      There are plenty of Americans who support Aston Villa, Stoke City and Swansea. And I’m sure many of those clubs won over new fans on their tour this summer.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  14. Ashley says:

    I didn’t vote simply because I didn’t keep track of most of the games or the fanfare surrounding them. I will give some insight to the Liverpool games in Boston & Baltimore since I was there, however. In Boston, if you went to Harvard you could easily see the Reds training and I heard that there were ample opportunities to brush shoulders with Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and some other club figures. I was there Tuesday through Thursday and wearing a different jersey every day. You couldn’t go 2 blocks without someone across the street holding up a scarf, starting a chant or spontaneously breaking into “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (which if you look up on YouTube, the Fenway Kop still brings a tear to my eye, and as a 6’6″ guy I’m not accustomed to showing much emotion, chilling and the highlight of my trip). All of the bars that I stopped at in town were amazed at the spectacle that the game was providing (except for Toro, a tapas bar whose bartender was a Liverpool fan & therefore prepared for it all), many of them unaware that soccer had been played in Fenway despite the fact that there was a game a mere 2 years ago between Celtic & Sporting Lisbon. The fan march to Fenway, complete with police escort, bagpipes and cheer after cheer was nothing short of amazing. The turnout was overwhelmingly pro-Liverpool but from what I saw there was a mutual respect between the fan bases which was nice.

    Baltimore was more of the same, a sea of Red everywhere. I went to the Boston game with my brothers but embarked for Maryland on my own. At no point did I feel alone however, I had someone in a Red shirt but me a drink at every bar, and I did the same for others. I went to 2 Orioles games while there and even watching America’s past time had strangers talking to me about soccer. There seemed to be more Tottenham fans than there were Roma fans in Boston, but it was still mostly Liverpool. While walking through town Friday, the team bus passed me and I followed its general trajectory hoping to possibly see some of the lads. I was rewarded with a picture with Rush, of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Jose Enrique (would have loved to have jumped in that picture but it was only the 4 of us there, who do you bump out for that pic?), as well as seeing a few of the fringe players and Brad Friedel and Gareth Bale outside (staying in the Marriott next door). Everyone was friendly and accommodating and seemed to appreciate my fandom in a land where their celebrity is not as well known.

    Considering all of this, I’m not sure how much Liverpool gained on this tour, primarily because they brought so many pre-existing fans out. I’m sure it increased their exposure, but we were all already part of the family. If the Clint Dempsey signing is as inevitable as it has seemed at times and ends up happening, I think a massive opportunity to get some publicity and exposure to more casual soccer fans coinciding with the tour.

  15. PTL says:

    The issues with Stoke are not from US fans, it’s from US based Arsenal fans. We have heard it all before. Another 3pts from dirty Arsenal on 268 and they’ll start bleating again, love it.

  16. Nick says:

    the ‘EPL’ as you call it might care about taking money from gullible Yanks, but for the teams pre-season friendlies are all about getting players match fit. Its shame they have to travel half the way around the world instead of playing against local teams but if it means more money then so be it. But if you think for one moment anyone cares what you Yanks think then you are very mistaken.

    • The Gaffer says:

      You could argue clubs in England have the same opinion about their own supporters. Most clubs don’t have fan representatives on the board, and care more about TV revenue than gate receipts. A perfect example of this is the Premier League and Sky making last minute changes to match day kickoff times to generate more TV revenue for clubs.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  17. PTL says:

    Gaffer, that is true but the clubs will always need the fans in the ground, no fans = no atmosphere = no product to sell. The clubs do push things as far as they can but most understand that the supporters are the club.

    Wait and watch what happens to Cardiff.

  18. Michael says:

    To be upfront and honest I am biased. I went from Atlanta to Newark to see Spurs play the NY Red Bulls. I think they had a good tour they played arguably the two biggest sides in MLS, and played in Liverpool. They seemed to have good support everywhere they went. I know 40-50% of Red Bull Arena was there for Spurs.

    However, given the perimeters by The Gaffer you have to say that Chelsea had the most successful tour. Like Spurs they from West Coast to East Coast and played some big sides, but as mentioned in an earlier post they at least split the stadiums in half (as far a support).

    No doubt winning the Champions League helps with support, but in my opinion they would have had that anyway. Chelsea, Man U & Liverpool has the best support in America.

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