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What EPL Clubs Do You Want to See on an American Tour?

HOUSTON - JULY 28: Darren Fletcher  of Manchester United heads the ball against Jeff Larentowicz  of the MLS All-Stars during the MLS All Star Game at Reliant Stadium on July 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

As winter settles in and the MLS offseason is in full swing, it is not too soon to plan those warm weather summer tours where international teams play MLS squads.  The advantages to both sides are obvious – MLS teams can show they can compete with their international colleagues while the international team can entertain their American fans.  And both sides usually benefit financially from the games.  Last season, the following English teams made the trip across the pond – Bolton, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, and (gulp) Portsmouth.

And one club has already begun to plan a 2011 summer tour – EPL Talk reported Manchester United has already begun planning a visit.  Rumor has it that one of the matches will be played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, which not-so-coincidentally is the headquarters city of Man U sponsor Aon.  No other details have been announced, but on the heels of a successful visit last year you can expect the team to be in high demand.

Here are five other English clubs I’d like to see visit the U.S. this summer, with a recommended location and opponent.  Below is a poll where you can vote on which clubs you would like to see this summer.  Over the coming weeks I will post polls for other leagues and nations, so stay tuned.

Arsenal – Rumor has it that Arsene Wenger does not want to tour the U.S. and finds more value in the club’s training in Austria and occasionally Asia.  No team however would benefit more from a visit to the U.S. than the Gunners.  They have a huge U.S. fanbase, many of whom have never seen the club in person, and would be guaranteed to sell out their matches.  In addition, their majority owner is an American, so a U.S. tour makes perfect sense.  Dream match – Arsenal v. Colorado Rapids (same majority owners) at Invesco Field, Denver.

Chelsea – The defending EPL champions visited the U.S. in 2009 and played in the World Football Challenge against, among others, AC Milan.  This is another club with a huge American following that skipped last year, making their reappearance good for ticket sales.  If they win the league this season, it would make their matches even more marketable.  Dream match – MLS All Stars v. Chelsea.  Because Man U did it, so should Chelsea.

Everton – Really there is one reason, possibly two, why an Everton tour would make sense: Tim Howard and, if he makes an England move, Landon Donovan.  American soccer fans who want to follow an EPL team naturally have to consider the club because of the American national team keeper and Donovan’s time with the club.  Everton should take advantage of having Howard and schedule a tour while America he’s still on the club.  Dream match – Everton v. New York Red Bulls at New Meadowlands, NJ.  A homecoming for Tim Howard.

Liverpool – Despite having a down season, the club is still one of the most popular in the world.  And now is the perfect time for them to come over as they were recently purchased by John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, and he could show off his nice new purchase to his American supporters.  In fact, this dream match-up is a no-brainer: Liverpool v. Revolution in Fenway Park.

Tottenham Hotspur – The club’s recent resurgence has attracted a lot of attention from casual soccer fans and attracted some American fans looking to attach themselves to an EPL team.  The emergence of Gareth Bale gives them a marketable young star, and the other big names on the team make them a compelling matchup for any American club.  Dream match – Tottenham v. Seattle Sounders in Seattle.

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  1. Sergio Hernandez

    December 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I missed my chance to see ManUtd this year in Houston and Inter Milan in Dallas (thanks, newborn baby, SHEEZ!) and also missed out on Chelsea last year (in Cowboys Stadium no less, ARGH!)

  2. Charles

    December 20, 2010 at 10:06 am

    One other thing ?
    Why does ANYONE think that Landon is going to Everton permanently ?

    The ESPN guy asked Landon after they were knocked out of the playoffs.
    “You coming back to MLS next year?”

    He could NOT have been less ambiguous.
    I could see if someone like Man U came along and he changed his mind, but it is not like Landon doesn’t know he is wanted at Everton.

  3. Charles

    December 20, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Sounders have promised a top 5 team in the world. There were so many fans that were upset about being forced to buy those friendly games they made it optional….I passed.
    We have already seen Chelsea and Barca play at QWest. It was fun once.
    Those days should be put to rest very soon. IF and only IF MLS needs those to help fund the real league….keep them, otherwise move on.

    MLS has a great season in store, plus there is CCL and US Open Cup for extra games.
    I would much rather see the MLS teams in a real competition than any friendly. Add on top of it, the annoying Euridiots wearing their Chelsea jerseys living in Seattle, it makes it even worse than if the friendly was against a no-name team.

    ps. Gaffer MLS is asking FSC for $20 million a year next year versus $3 million per year before ? This site told me MLS was in big trouble on TV ?

    • Robert

      December 20, 2010 at 10:17 am

      Charles, we disagree on a lot of things but this is one thing I must agree with you on this one. MLS needs to move on from this friendlies. Sounders Franchise Club played a friendly with Chivas towards the end of the season for christ sakes! Who knows maybe they would of given Galaxy a fighting chance rather than lye down and take it like they did.

  4. Lysander

    December 20, 2010 at 12:58 am

    I would much rather see the MLS teams focus on their league play , Open Cup, and CONCACAF games than meaningless games against second string teams from Europe. Trophies, not friendlies!

  5. Beep boop bop

    December 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    To be honest I can do without a epl club coming. I mean it’s nice to see all the soccer fans come out of hiding from mls to show support for the sport (and support their “club”) but I don’t like to see mls best barely get by or get torn up in their own house with a majority fanbase rooting against mls. Plus it bothers me that mls puts more importance in defeating second string man u team for publicity than focusing on meaningful tournaments. But….. If I had to pick one I’d say arsenal.

  6. CACuzcatlan

    December 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Hopefully Liverpool will play the Revs, but I have a bad feeling they might end up playing some other Euro team.

  7. short passes

    December 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Arsenal ?? OK but much rather have la Liga representatives Barca or Real Madrid.

    • Joe

      December 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm

      YES! I’ve really been enjoying Barça this season and would love to see them in person.

      I think Real Madrid played the LA Galaxy in August. Did they stop anywhere else?

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