Premier League club Newcastle United is said to be considering a United States tour during the upcoming summer. While no specific cities or dates have been revealed just yet, it is thought that the club from northeast England are assessing their options for where to play their summer friendlies, and America appears to be at or near the top of their list.
With soccer growing in popularity in the United States, many European clubs (such as Arsenal, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Real Madrid) have made the trek to America to capitalize on the newfound success of the sport to play friendly matches.
Just last summer, Manchester United and Real Madrid played in front of over 109,000 fans in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The friendly match set the record for the highest attendance of any soccer match in U.S. history (there were also multiple other sellouts involving European clubs as well).
As the match in Michigan gained worldwide notice, surely club owners and managers around the globe looked on with dollar signs in their eyes like in old cartoons. Not only will these teams benefit financially due to ticket purchases, but also potentially long-term as new fans flock to these summer friendlies.
John Carver, Newcastle’s appointed manager until the end of the season, has ties to soccer in North America, as the Newcastle-born coach spent just over a year as manager of Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC in 2008-2009.
While Carver seemingly wants to bring his club to America during the upcoming summer, it remains to be seen if he will in fact still be manager of the Magpies during this time.
Carver recently spoke on the issue of Newcastle coming stateside for friendly matches. The 50-year-old manager stated, “We’ve had a session on pre-season dates, dates for returning, as obviously it’s a shorter summer break this year. We haven’t decided where we’re going, but we’re talking about different options.”
The Magpie players are said to have to report back to the club following a summer break on June 29th. Newcastle has not made the trip across the pond since 2011, when they played matches against Sporting Kansas City, Orlando City, and Columbus Crew.