In yet another great sign for U.S. Soccer and the popularity of the Premier League in America, the post-season friendly between Manchester City and Chelsea in St. Louis has sold out within 20 minutes of going on sale.
The match will take place on May 23rd at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. With the sell out, the 46,861 capacity stadium is guaranteed to be a phenomenal atmosphere with Vicki Bryant, vice president of event services and merchandising for Cardinals, buzzing: “This event is the hottest ticket in St Louis. It is like a ticket to game seven of the World Series!”
City’s chief commercial and operating officer, Tom Glick, was equally impressed by the stateside support. “We believe in US soccer and we know how much passion the fans in North America have for the beautiful game. The club is committed to giving fans across the world the opportunity to get close to Manchester City FC.”
Whereas preseason tours to the U.S. have become something of a pilgrimage for Premier League clubs over the last 20 years, the decision of City and Chelsea to access the market with an end-of-season trip is an interesting play. As the match takes place merely four days following the conclusion of the Premier League season, players will be in peak form. That form, however, may be hampered by the players (much deserved) need to unwind following a long, arduous Premier League season.
And by “unwind” I mean drink a TON of beers.
Enjoy the party, St. Louis!
NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.
Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.
If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.
The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.
Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.
Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.
Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.
Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.
Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.
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The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.
Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.
The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.
Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.
The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.
In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.