Chelsea flew out this morning to begin the USA Tour, heading to Los Angeles for a few days of training first, then to Las Vegas for a friendly against Club América, then over to the East Coast for games against Charlotte FC in Charlotte, NC and against Arsenal in Orlando, FL.
It’s going to be a hot one, with triple-digit temperatures awaiting the Blues at just about every destination — and as high as 110°F (43°C) in Vegas, even! — so appropriately a massive squad of 29 players have traveled, with a 30th, Armando Broja set to join up next week (contrary to some reports).
There are a few surprising absentees, including young Ian Maatsen, who has stayed behind presumably with a view towards a loan (not contrary to some reports), while neither N’Golo Kanté nor Ruben Loftus-Cheek have traveled “due to their Covid vaccination status”, according to the official website. The USA allows only US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents to enter the country unvaccinated.
The squad includes every other senior player, including those who had yet to return to Cobham after extended international duty last month. Players strongly linked with exits, such as Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta, Emerson Palmieri, or Hakim Ziyech have all traveled. A ton of returning loanees are there as well, including Ethan Ampadu, Levi Colwill, Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour, Tino Anjorin, and Michy Batshuayi. Youngster Harvey Vale gets to come along as well — unfortunately he’s the only one to come up straight from the Academy, with Dujon Sterling, Lewis Hall, Charlie Webster, Mason Burstow, Dylan Williams, et al. staying behind (though they might be coming with the U21s in a couple weeks).
The full 29-man traveling squad is as follows (not yet including Broja):
GOALKEEPERS: Arrizabalaga, Bettinelli, Mendy, Sharman-Lowe
DEFENDERS: Alonso, Ampadu, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Chilwell, Colwill, Emerson, James, Kenedy, Sarr, Silva
MIDFIELDERS: Barkley, Gallagher, Gilmour, Jorginho, Kovačić, Mount, Vale
FORWARDS: Anjorin, Batshuayi, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Werner, Ziyech