Chelsea may play a preseason friendly against Wrexham on the same night as the MLS All-Star game against Arsenal. Although not official yet, the Evening Standard claims that the Blues are planning to play the game in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s football stadium will host the match. Kenan Memorial Stadium currently holds around 50,000 fans.
Both the Chelsea-Wrexham fixture and the MLS All-Star game are scheduled for July 19 this summer. MLS players are set to play current Premier League leaders Arsenal in their matchup. D.C. United’s Audi Field will host the game. This stadium only holds about 20,000 people. After going on public sale, tickets sold out within five minutes. However, tickets are currently available on the resale market.
With Wrexham-Chelsea facing the prospect of playing on the same night as Arsenal-MLS All-Stars, it means that Major League Soccer faces some stiff competition on one of their biggest nights of the year. MLS’ game against Arsenal is live on MLS Season Pass. And with Wrexham’s close ties to Disney, Hulu and ESPN, don’t be surprised if Chelsea against Wrexham is shown live on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN+ that night.
Club looking to minimize travel for U.S. tour
Chelsea will return to the United States following a somewhat similar tour last summer. The Blues, however, are looking to cut down on travel time for their upcoming visit. Players and former manager Thomas Tuchel complained of the coast to coast tour ahead of the current campaign. Chelsea held training in California before playing Club America in Las Vegas. Then, it traveled east to play Charlotte FC and Arsenal in Orlando.
As first reported by World Soccer Talk, Chelsea had been planning to use North Carolina as their hub for this summer’s U.S. tour. Chelsea want to minimize travel time as opposed to last summer where they played friendlies across several different time zones.
Chelsea may use NFL complex, not MLS site, before Wrexham game
Team director of football operations David Barnard recently spoke about the issue in a recent interview.
“One thing is from a football perspective. We have to ensure that preparation for the Premier League is first then we bolt on all our commercial activity and everything around it to generate the name of Chelsea. We try to find the best training facilities and the NFL teams have the best facilities,” Barnard told the London is Blue podcast.
During the interview, the Chelsea director hinted that the club may use the facilities of the Philadelphia Eagles too. Chelsea, nor the Eagles, officially announced anything. Yet, according to World Soccer Talk sources, Leeds United, Newcastle and Brighton are potential opponents in the USA.
Stay updated on the schedule of soccer friendlies heading to the United States this summer.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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