Chelsea head to Philadelphia for MLS All-Star Game
Chelsea tied Paris St. Germain 1-1 in last night’s match at Yankee Stadium. It was a ho-hum game for the most part – not bad by any means, just a little stuck in lower gear. PSG was definitely a step up competition-wise from the Sounders game. Some better finishing might’ve garnered Chelsea the victory, but it was still a good battle back to tie the game. Today the team travels by train to Philadelphia for Wednesday’s clash with MLS All-Stars.
I still like the promise displayed by Hazard and Marin in last night’s game. They could make a big impact for Chelsea this season. I was less impressed with Lukaku and De Bruyne last night than against Seattle. Hutchinson also looked a little shaky on defense and too hasty with several passes. I wish McEachran had seen more of the ball when he came on in the second half. I also wish Malouda would regain his former sharpness in the final third. He had one of Chelsea’s best scoring opps of the match but smacked it directly at PSG’s keeper.
But these are small criticisms considering it’s preseason with lots of player rotation. And considering there are so many young players on this tour. Speaking of – how ‘bout 18-year-old Brazilian Lucas Piazon’s second half goal? Ramires (also Brazilian!) slipped Piazon the sweet pass that led to the goal. Earlier in the game I complained aloud about this whippersnapper Piazon who seems to have a penchant for trying to dribble around defenders instead of passing. Equalizing goals have a penchant for shutting me up. Piazon’s probably too young to earn a spot with Chelsea this season, but perhaps we glimpsed a bright future Blue last night.
Today’s Oscar the Brazilian Wonder Kid update swings back in the direction of him actually joining Chelsea. What that means is, nobody really knows for sure.
There are a couple items today about expensive German club players that Chelsea has tried to get – Andre Schurrle of Bayer Leverkusen and Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund. That’s the downside of being one of the world’s moneybags clubs, everyone tries to fleece you.
There’s also much chat today about Frank Lampard’s potential MLS future. I think it’s a non-story. The guy is committed to Chelsea to the end of his contract. Sounds like he answered reporters honestly after last night’s game because his future beyond this season really is up to Chelsea. They may decide not to renew, but I think that would be the only scenario that would send Lamps to MLS. By the way, if that does happen, FC Dallas wants you Frank!*
*I have no authority to speak on behalf of FC Dallas. But I’m inviting you to join the club anyway!
Your thoughts on the Chelsea/PSG match last night?
Chelsea makes second stop on U.S. tour
Chelsea arrived in New York City yesterday to prep for their Sunday match against aspiring super club Paris St. Germain. Before making it out of Seattle, the players enjoyed an impromptu runway training session while waiting out a flight delay.
Much of the deal news this week revolved around Chelsea possibly signing Oscar the Brazilian Wonder Kid. It seemed like a done deal, but now Oscar’s back pedaling. He confirmed he had a physical with the Chelsea folk, but says he won’t make a decision about his future until after the Olympics. This kind of intrigue is always amusing and predictable. I’m sure there’s an agent behind the scenes advising Oscar to be cryptic to ensure continued headlines for a couple more weeks. Anyways, you often can’t tell these deals are final until you actually see the player suited up on the sideline.
Another Brazilian in the news this week was Willian. His club Shakhtar Donetsk supposedly rejected a Chelsea bid for the attacking midfielder earlier this week. Now Willian’s making no bones about his desire to bolt Shak Don for Chelsea.
It’s anyone’s guess how the Oscar, Willian, or Victor Moses deals will go down (or won’t go down)! One thing’s for sure – it will be an interesting few weeks leading up to the Chelsea v. Manchester City Community Shield match which unofficially kicks off the new season on August 12th.
I’m looking forward to the Chelsea v. Paris St. Germain friendly at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. Fox Soccer will be carrying the match live. Should be an energetic game and unique atmosphere. The baseball stadium atmosphere is apparently appealing to a lot of U.S. fans this summer – check out what tickets are selling for…
Who would you rather see land at Chelsea – Oscar, Willian, or Moses?
Chelsea wraps up Seattle leg of U.S. tour
Chelsea had one more training session this morning in Seattle before hopping a plane bound for New York City. The club faces their former manager Carlo Ancelotti and his current team Paris St. Germain in another preseason friendly Sunday. It will be the first ever soccer match to be played at the new Yankee Stadium.
While the team trains and tours in the U.S., the deal making for new players continues in London. Here is the latest rumor rundown:
Coach Di Matteo confirmed the club is in talks to get Victor Moses from Wigan. Apparently Wigan wants several more buckets of cash than Chelsea has offered so far. I can take or leave this deal. Chelsea certainly shouldn’t overpay for him. A better striker option would be checking to see if Newcastle’s Demba Ba or Papiss Cisse have any brothers in Senegal.
Thorgan Hazard may become a Chelsea player within a day or two, but nothing official from Chelsea yet. If the deal goes through, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fairly quickly loaned to another Premier League club given he’s only 19-years-old and Chelsea has a very packed roster right now.
Chelsea may be after Marseille’s 22-year-old Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta. Chelsea could use some back line bolstering, so this deal could be interesting. I bet there’s going to be a whole lotta soccer wheeling and dealing going on with all these under-23 national teams in London for the Olympics!
Check out this New York Times story exploring why some of America’s most famous baseball stadiums are hosting big international soccer club matches this summer. Wondering how a soccer pitch is going to work in Yankee Stadium? Check out the diagram below and these photos of the pitch being prepared.
Apparently starring in a classic soccer comedy like Kicking & Screaming (I’m not being sarcastic – I actually think that movie’s hilarious) affords you lifetime access to Chelsea FC. Check out Blues fan Will Ferrell and comedian Zach Galifianakis chillin’ with Chelsea (and with the European Cup) in Seattle yesterday.
I particularly like the random autographed St. Louis Rams helmet Will and Zach apparently gave Chelsea. I have no idea why it was a Rams helmet, but it’s pretty vintage Will Ferrell. Good times!
Thoughts on the potential Moses, Thorgan Hazard, or Azpilicueta deals?
Chelsea begins training in Seattle
Chelsea transplanted their preseason training across the Atlantic yesterday with morning and evening sessions at the Seattle Seahawks practice facilities. The Sounders FC website captured some great footage of the sessions, along with an interview with club ambassador Graeme Le Saux.
In other Chelsea news today, the UK’s Daily Mail claims Chelsea is nearing a deal to acquire Brazilian midfielder Oscar from Brazilian club Internacional. Not sure what to think about that possibility as I haven’t had the opportunity to see Oscar in action. However, I’m a little surprised Chelsea hasn’t focused on beefing up the defense this summer as they’re pretty stacked in midfield at the moment.
Any thoughts on the potential Oscar signing?