NASL's Minnesota United FC has released the full day-by-day schedule of the team's ten-day preseason trip to England. The team is the first North American squad to stay and train at St. George's Park, the home base of the English National Team, and will partly share the facilities with legendary English name and current Barclays Premier League team West Ham United.
"It's a privilege for the club to be training at St. George's Park, which is one of the finest training facilities in the world," said Minnesota United FC President Nick Rogers, "It's really a testament to the approach that our owner, Dr. McGuire, has taken to building this club the right way. We want our players to see how the very best in the world play the game in England."
In addition to playing training at the state-of-the-art facility, Minnesota United FC will play friendly matches against Derby County FC of the Skybet League Championship and Matlock Town FC of the NPL Premier Division. The club is hoping to play a third friendly as well, with details to be announced later. Live streams will not be available for these games, but fans can follow along with coverage on the team's official Twitter account @MNUnitedFC and can expect highlight videos on the team's YouTube page.
The team is also scheduled to watch Derby Co. play Bolton in an official league match, and to also attend a Premier League match between two of England's most storied clubs: Chelsea and Aston Villa.
"I think this trip will be a real opportunity for us to be exposed to different ideas in soccer," said Rogers. "People play differently around the world, and this is an opportunity to learn. Through these matches, we'll to see where we are, where we still need to get better."
With the Minnesota United FC season beginning on April 12th in San Antonio, there is no time to lose for preparation. The team recently returned from a pre-season trip to LA in which they played the LA Galaxy and the LA Galaxy II Reserves team, and hopes to return from England motivated and prepared for the challenges of the regular season.
The schedule of the trip to England is listed below:
Friday, March 7: Depart Minneapolis
Saturday, March 8: Arrive in London
Sunday, March 9: Train at Derby County
Monday, March 10: Minnesota United FC vs Matlock Town FC (Friendly - 1:45 p.m. CST)
Tuesday, March 11: Derby County vs Bolton (SkyBet Championship - 1:45 p.m. CST)
Wednesday, March 12: Training Day
Thursday March 13: Training Day
Friday, March 14: Training Day
Saturday, March 15: Aston Villa vs Chelsea (English Premier League - 11:30 a.m. CST)
Sunday, March 16: Training Day
Monday, March 17: Minnesota United FC vs Derby County (Friendly - 7:00 a.m. CST)
Tuesday, March 18: Depart London, arrive in Minneapolis