Newcastle are on another trip to the US right now, where the distances in America are huge and the weather is hot and humid in the summer, but this time around they seem to have arranged things a little better than in 2011, when the squad went down to Miami in July – where it’s around 95 degrees F and 100% humidity most days.
Steve McClaren – hopes it isn’t too grueling
Milwaukee will be in the high 80s at this time of year, as will Sacramento in California, but Portland is only in the high 70s, so a bit cooler there and there will also be less humidity on the west coast.
In Raleigh last month we had 16 days where it was over 90 degrees F every day with very high humidity, and most of those were over 95 – so it can be really hot in the states.
From Milwaukee to Sacramento in California is just over 2,000 miles and another 700 miles north from there to Portland in Oregon.
It’s about 3800 miles from Newcastle to Milwaukee and from Portland back to Newcastle is around 4700 miles.
So that’s around 11,200 miles but it will be longer by plane – because those distances are as the crow flies and they’ll be exhausted – the crows as well as the Newcastle squad.
Steve McClaren has talked about the trip and was asked whether it’s going to be a grueling schedule:
“Hopefully not. It’s going to be a tough 10 days – games, travel, logistics, preparation, organisation.¨
“I’ve done these trips before and can you say they’re ideal? No. But this is what we’ve inherited and we have to make the most of it – and we will.¨
“We’ll do the work we need to do and get the recovery that we need and coming back, then that is the period where ‘do you recover?’ and ‘how long does it takes each individual to recover?’¨
“We have to make sure in that period that we don’t get injuries and niggles.”
“There’s three games,” “Training is great, all the little drills are great, but nothing beats the game
¨So three games and a lot of work on the training ground now on organisation and jobs and things that you should be doing so they become more automatic rather than just off the cuff.¨
“We’ve worked very hard and we will continue with the fitness. The fitness will come with the games now, and the recovery will be important because of all the travel.”
America seems to be a popular place for Premier League teams to visit these days and of course there’s no language problems.
Soccer is threatening to take off a bit in the US, but it’s still way down the list of popular sports in America with American Football, baseball (at both the pro and college levels) the most popular by far, and other sports like golf, NASCAR and ice hockey still more popular.
If you look at the sports page of the web version of USA Today, soccer still doesn’t make it along the top as one of the nine sports featured.
But the lads will be able to have some warm weather training in addition to the three games – so hopefully it will be all worth while.
We may even be able to sign a couple more players before the lads return to England a week on Wednesday.