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Are Chelsea gearing up for even more preseason friendlies in the USA?

This is all just speculation at this point, but Chelsea may be looking to potentially visit the USA twice this summer if certain website tealeaves are to be believed.


This one comes courtesy of the fine folk over at /r/chelseafc and /r/soccer, who have unearthed some indications of a potential second visit to the USA this summer by Chelsea as it seeks to fill the offseason with twice weekly matches as well. Because why not, right, plus rest is for the weak and the old school soccer fogies? Perhaps it's the only way to give the huge squad of loanees any actual match action in front of the watchful eye of the next Chelsea "mounager."

Since 2009 - although skipping 2010 - the USA has hosted a summer tournament called the World Football Challenge. Chelsea took part in the first edition, ostensibly claiming the trophy by winning all three of their matches (Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Club América) in a four-team league. Last season's visit to the USA was also part of this challenge, although as we might remember, Chelsea were far less impressive after an opening 4-2 win in Seattle over the Sounders.

Rebranded for 2013, the now so-called International Champions Cup (ICC) will be an eight-team invitational tournament. Two groups of four (an Eastern and a Western division) will be contested in a round-robin format (in six US cities and one European city), before the overall winner gets decided in a four-team single elimination championship bracket.

The ICC's official website has reveled only half the teams so far: LA Galaxy, Juventus, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan, which leaves four mystery teams. They were supposed to reveal the remaining four on Tuesday, May 7th, but that obviously did not happen. However, thanks to enterprising Redditors, a simple examination of the website's source code - specifically the meta data keywords, which help in search engine optimization and ranking - has shed light on what is most likely an "expected" list of all the participants:


So in addition to the four already revealed, the organizers appear to be expecting: AC Milan, Benfica, Everton, and Chelsea. At minimum, this would add three more pre-season friendlies onto Chelsea's summer schedule, to take place after the club's Southeast Asian tour (July 17 - 25) and around the same time as the (most likely just an under-21) friendly versus Ilkeston FC.

The ICC, shown live on FOX Soccer, is currently scheduled to start on July 27th with a match in the one European location, and will conclude with the championship match in Miami, FL on August 7th.

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