Crystal Palace’s pre-season campaign kicks off next week with the squad travelling to the USA for three friendlies in the space of six days.
Overseas tours have become a thing of normality for Premier League clubs in recent years, offering the club’s directors the chance to further the reach of our unique “brand” (as cringeworthy as that sounds) whilst also offering the players an opportunity to gel as a cohesive unit away from the potential distractions that could occur when staying on English soil.
The first of Palace’s three Stateside friendlies will see them take on Philadelphia Union on the evening of 13th July, before traveling to FC Cincinnati three days later. The tour will then be brought to an end with a game against Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on the 19th July, when Alan Pardew and his players will return to the UK to continue their pre-season campaign.
Having visited South Africa last summer, there has always been a desire from those behind the scenes to revisit America, with the arrival of Josh Harris and David Blitzer on the club’s board partway through last season no doubt accelerating the plans Steve Parish and co. had to organise another tour across the Atlantic.
All three games will kick-off at 7pm local time, meaning some extremely late nights for our supporters across the country if they are intent on keeping up with the action via a live stream, but as has always been the case in previous seasons, there are bound to be thousands of supporters ready and willing to tune in when the time comes.
It doesn’t feel like all that long ago that we were all watching Jason Puncheon fire home that volley at Wembley, but in just six days time the Palace roller-coaster departs for another season of ups and downs.
If previous experience is anything to go by, you can be sure it won’t be boring.