This one's the big one. The one you've been waiting for.
After the long months upon months upon months upon months of the unending grind through the league schedule, all the intense and the not quite so intense cup matches, and all those big and somewhat lesser hot European nights, it's all come down to this.
Two teams, far away from home in a strange land, surrounded by a skeptical, largely English-speaking population, playing in an iconic stadium on a crap field. The whole world is watching.
The big game. The biggest! The second game of the Double-header in America!
What did you think I was talking about?
Date/Time: Saturday, May 25, 23:06 BST; 6:06 P.M. EDT; 3:36 A.M. IST (next day)
Venue: Yankee Stadium, New York City, NY
TV Information: ESPN (UK); Fox Soccer (USA)
Just another notch in the absurd that is Fox Soccer: delaying the online stream to midnight EDT. Hello new NBC overlords; good riddance Fox chumps.
Manchester City: Second verse same as the first for City, whose comeback on Thursday made the first friendly super fun for all the neutrals. And they say nothing ever happens in soccer!
We've discussed before in the comments how City seem to be easily leading in the online/tech engagement among all Premier League teams - if not in terms of raw number of followers, but actual breadth and quality of content - and videos such as a short segment on training, filmed from the players' perspective with GoPro cameras, just continue to reinforce that. So cool. Step it up, ChelseaTV!
Chelsea: Second verse same as the first for Chelsea as well, whose bare minimum of effort put forth can be seen by the fact that they did not call on any reinforcements after Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill, and Ashley Cole flew home in advance of their upcoming duty for Queen and Country.
Perhaps I am being a bit too cynical. Chelsea - led by David Luiz, Demba Ba, Petr Cech, and all the young'ns - had a lovely day out with FC Harlem yesterday. "Here to play, here to stay" was the motto of last summer's USA tour and these same values continue to be espoused by all such events as well. Combine that with the heartwarming tale of the young St. Louis fan saved from the crush of other fans in the most grand way imaginable, and perhaps we do find a smidgen of actual meaning for this double-header beyond just a simple cash-grab.
By the time this last of the last of the last of the last match of the season kicks off, we will no longer be Champions of Europe. Either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund will lay claim to that title next, so don't forget to first join us for that as well (2:45 P.M. EDT).