The Chelsea side that left London for its quick two-game tour of the United States came up one star short – a fairly big one.
Stately center back John Terry will go on vacation early, recovering from an ankle injury while the rest of the team spends a week across the Atlantic.
Thus, Frank Lampard, who was scratched from the LA Galaxy’s list of potential DP summer arrivals last week when he signed a new one-year deal with the Blues, will act as the Europa League champions’ captain in the United States. Chelsea plays in St. Louis on Thursday and again over the Memorial Day weekend at Yankee Stadium, both times against Manchester City.
Here is the entire 23-man travel squad for the two matches that will make the end of the Rafa Benitez era at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho is en route for his second go-round with the West London club – one of worst kept secrets in the history of badly kept secrets.
Chelsea’s travel squad has plenty of star appeal, even with Terry.
Most of Benitez’s first-choice men are on the roster, including Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, John Mikel Obi, Ramires, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres.
Even Eden Hazard, the young Belgian that made such an impression in his first season at Stamford Bridge, has recovered sufficiently from a recent injury to make the trip.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.