Tonight we play the second game of our tour of the USA and it’s against Orlando City – A team founded in 2010 and playing in the third division of American football. This should be another good work out for the boys, but the temperature plus the added factor of the plastic pitch may cause our lads some problems.
With Orlando promising a video stream on their site it looks as if it may be worthwhile staying up to watch this one – unlike the Kansas game. They’ve said there will be a stream but no commentary, which is fair enough really, we should know our own players. The game starts at 12:30AM Sunday morning our time. To get to the Orlando City website simply click this link here.
The size of our squad is decreasing by the day in America, with Joey Barton, Yohan Cabaye, Nile Ranger, Mike Williamson, Shane Ferguson, Danny Guthrie, Wayne Routledge and Xisco already out we were on the short side. Since the injury of Hatem Ben Arfa we are left further depleted and today brought news that Danny Simpson would be returning home for the birth of his child, you can’t really blame Danny, but it does make us weak.
I would expect lots of substitutions due to heat and in attempt to prevent injuries, which also happened in the friendly against Kansas. Another thing I do expect to happen is Steve Harper to start in goal. Krul and Forster have started the previous two friendlies and I think it’ll be Harpers time to show what he can give to the team.
Also as Simpson has now gone home I wouldn’t be surprised to see young James Tavernier play at right back, hopefully he does and Ryan Taylor takes up his rightful place on the bench. Also Jose Enrique and Haris Vuckic have returned to training since the Kansas game so I’d expect them to feature.
Tonights game will be played at the Citrus Bowl – Orlando City’s ground. This is an artificial pitch which is something of a concern for me. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pardew has similar worries and we may see a different team tonight because of it. The lads will have all played on a plastic pitch before in the training dome at our training ground or elsewhere, but still it could cause injuries.
The main thing is this game is to come through it without injuries. A win would be nice, but a clean bill of health is the main thing. Hopefully we manage to see some goals tonight, but I’m really looking forward to seeing a couple of our new players in action. I’m also looking forward to see if Haris Vuckic is what he’s hyped up to be.
Well, I’m staying up, but I am rather mental, hopefully there will be some people staying up to keep me company and hopefully watch a Newcastle win. Any questions on the stream just give me a shout and I’ll help if I can.
Howay the lads!
NUFC:Fraser Forster, Ryan Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, James Tavernier, Dan Gosling, Alan Smith, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands.