USA Tours seem to have turned into an annual tradition for Chelsea, thanks in-part to the ever-expanding International Champions Cup pre-season marketing exercise. This year, Chelsea will stick to the Midwest and the West Coast of America, playing in iconic venues (Rose Bowl; The Big House) against iconic teams (Liverpool, Real Madrid, AC Milan) in front of crowds twice the capacity of Stamford Bridge.
The Blues touched down in Los Angeles a few hours ago to begin their West Coast stay. A couple days of practice (I believe it will be at UCLA, but don't quote me on that) will be followed by the match against Liverpool at the Rose Bowl Wednesday night (8:00pm local time). Then Chelsea wave goodbye to Southern California and fly east, towards Michigan and Minnesota.
No less than thirty players have come on the tour this year. The only senior first-team players missing are N'Golo Kanté, who's presumably still on vacation following the Euro 2016 final two weeks ago and John Obi Mikel who's with Nigeria as they start preparations for the Olympics.
GOALKEEPERS: Thibaut Courtois, Asmir Begović, Jamal Blackman, Nathan Baxter
DEFENDERS: John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, César Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Baba Rahman, Ola Aina, Matt Miazga, Michael Hector, Fikayo Tomori
MIDFIELDERS: Nemanja Matić, Cesc Fàbregas, Oscar, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathaniel Chalobah
ATTACKERS: Eden Hazard, Willian, Pedro, Diego Costa, Loïc Rémy, Michy Batshuayi, Bertrand Traoré, Kenedy, Victor Moses, Juan Cuadrado, Tammy Abraham
Certainly a few names in there to notice, including youngsters Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham. Branislav Ivanovic has traveled, as has Kurt Zouma, though both will be limited as they recover from short-term and long-term injuries, respectively. Thirty players is quite a lot, but the three games should give opportunities for fringe players like Moses, Cuadrado, Hector, Chalobah, Miazga, etc. to impress.
Notable absentees include Papy Djilobodji, Dominic Solanke, Marco van Ginkel, Lucas Piazon, Christian Atsu, and many more future loan army grunts.
Welcome to America, Chelsea Football Club!