The Sounders will run with the big lads Wednesday in the season’s only international friendly, against the newly crowned European club champion Chelsea FC.
Soccer enthusiasts seized the chance to catch a look at the reigning UEFA Champions League winners Tuesday night at CenturyLink Field.
Chelsea FC coasted through a 90-minute training session under the guidance of coach Roberto Di Matteo as fans crowded the east end of the stadium’s lower bowl to see midfielder Frank Lampard and goalkeeper Petr Cech in action.
The Blues delighted the modest crowd early by belting miniature soccer balls into the stands before stretching and engaging in some light passing drills. After the warmup, Chelsea displayed in a short-field scrimmage the crisp passing attack that has kept them near to the top of the Premier League standings. The workout was the first chance Chelsea had to play on the stadium’s newly installed grass surface.
At a press conference earlier in the day, Di Matteo said his club won’t be taking lightly the international friendly. Chelsea’s four-match tour of North America begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday against the Sounders.
“Pre-season friendly games are important to transfer what we are doing in training. It’s a physical test, and we’re still trying to increase our physical performance,” he said. “The freshness won’t be there yet but we will try to set our stamp on our first games and try to develop that. I’ve watched the Sounders a little bit and know their system of play. I followed the game they had against Red Bulls on Monday.
Chelsea FC will be without John Terry and Ashley Cole Wednesday.The franchise icons were absent from Tuesday’s walk-through and plan to join the team sometime during its U.S. tour.