Yanks Set To Welcome The Geordie Boys

08 July 2011 12:04
United's stars cross the Atlantic for three friendlies later this month, with dates against Kansas City, Orlando City and Columbus Crew. Their American opponents will be more than halfway through their own domestic campaign, and the days of the Yanks being cannon-fodder in the "soccer world" are long gone. Adrian Heath manager at Orlando: “First and foremost we are looking forward to the game, and playing against one of the biggest clubs in the world in only our second year of existence is a major achievement. “We are going to be three quarters of the way through our season by the time it comes around. In terms of match fitness and sharpness there will be no issues at all, and the lads are all looking forward giving Newcastle a strong test. “There are a lot of considerations when you are planning an overseas tour, but America ticks the boxes in pretty much every one of those. “On things like climate, facilities, food and language then it has the advantage over the Far East, and with the travelling time being a bit less as well you can see why more and more teams are coming over here for pre-season now. “It might not be as lucrative as the Far East, but as somebody who has toured Asia as a player myself, the stifling humidity you often get over there at this time of year really doesn’t do much for your preparations from either a conditioning or footballing point of view. “There is nothing quite like leaving home and going on the road with your team-mates for a couple of weeks, and it really helps to cement the spirit in the squad. “When I was a player we always did a bit of touring, but not to the extent that sides seem to be doing nowadays. We went to the Far East, Australia and New Zealand with Everton, but it seemed to die out for a time and has only just came back in the last decade or so. “It is the first time that you get to know people really well, being on the road, and the manager will maybe allow the boys out together for a few beers when the time is right. "That is all good for the camaraderie going into the new season, but they will have three tough games out here as well. “Everybody wants to try and grow their brand in the USA, because it is a really lucrative emerging market for the Premiership. “If you take Chelsea as an example, by coming here for the last four years in a row they have developed a stronger American presence and fan base, and I am sure that Newcastle will have half an eye on that. "From our own point of view at Orlando City it is a huge coup to get a club of Newcastle’s stature over here, and we are expecting what they are – a top-class outfit. "When you look at their squad there is a lot of quality there with the likes of Fabricio Coloccini, Joey Barton and José Enríque to name three and they have new signings who they will be looking to add into that.”