It seems like Chelsea landed just yesterday in sunny Southern California and now they're in Minnesota having already been to Michigan and soon they'll be back home in England and ready for the real football. Time flies when you're having fun. But soon the the stakes will be raised, the fun will be turned off, and the real work with real consequences will begin. Scary. Exciting.
For now, it's friendly time, for the last time in the USA this year. Chelsea will have one more friendly after this one, on the weekend against Werder Bremen, and there's still much to learn and much to figure out. And maybe even a signing or two and a sale or three to make. Busy. Uncertain.
So, sit back and relax and enjoy this first ever sporting event held in the brand new US Bank Stadium.
Date / Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 9:35pm EDT; 02:35 BST (next day); 7:05am IST (next day)
Venue: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Referee: Not Ed Hochuli
Forecast: Hot and humid, though it doesn't quite matter as the stadium has a fixed roof (albeit clear with a few movable panels)
On TV: Chelsea TV (UK); ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (USA); Sony ESPN (India); elsewhere
AC Milan team news: Once the best team in Europe, AC Milan are a long ways away from the heady days of the early-to-mid 90s — or even the mid-00s when Carlo Ancelotti worked his magic, especially in Europe. The Rossonero have not finished higher than 7th in any of the last three seasons, after not finishing lower than 6th the previous 15. We could in fact use their downfall as a stark warning to Chelsea's ambitions should we let the current malaise linger.
Former Roma striker Vincenzo Montella is the new man in charge, their 6th manager since sacking Max Allegri in January 2014. Their biggest summer signing is a 26-year-old striker who scored 27 goals in Serie B last season. Interesting times in the city of Milano.
That's not to say they're completely devoid of talent. Carlos Bacca's still around (for now), just not on the US Tour. Goalkeeper Donnarumma is a highly promising 17-year-old and it's pretty amazing that he's been first-choice for almost a year now. Left back Mattia De Sciglio is a proper talent. Andrea Poli and Juraj Kucka can be solid midfielders. And golden oldies like Keisuke Honda and Riccardo Montolivo are always worth watching.
I hope Milan leave Montolivo in Chicago.— DevilWearsRossonero (@SBNRossonero) July 28, 2016
Ok, maybe not Montolivo.
View from the enemy: The AC Milan Offside
Chelsea team news: After a strong defensive showing against Liverpool and a poor overall showing against Real Madrid, Chelsea look to continue the progression and learning under Antonio Conte.
The squad lost a left back in the meantime, with Baba Rahman joining Schalke 04 on loan, but gained a once again healthy Diego Costa and a once again practicing Branislav Ivanovic. New boy N'Golo Kanté is set to make his Chelsea debut as well.
Previously: The two teams first met in the 1966 Fairs Cup (Chelsea "won" a three-legged tie on a coin-toss to advance to the quarterfinals), then met 33 years later in the Champions League group stages, twice (both draws). Beyond those five competitive encounters, we've also seen each other a few times in preseason in recent years. Here's that Drogba goal, which is obligatory.