When glamorous European clubs announce they're coming to America for summer tours, the fear among U.S. fans is that the best players either won't show up or make only token appearances.
That apparently won't be a concern when defending English Premier League champion Chelsea visits Washington on July 28 to play D.C. United at FedEx Field.
Chelsea announced this week that all its top players have been included on the 23-man traveling roster for the friendly against United and a pair of exhibitions against AC Milan (in Foxboro, Mass., and East Rutherford, N.J.).
There's also the likelihood that, if Chelsea makes a major acquisition in the next week, the club would amend the roster.
"If we get one, I will bring [the new player] with me, of course, because this is a short period [of preseason training] for us," Coach Jose Mourinho said during a conference call with U.S. media. "The objective is to go with all the squad together and build from that."
Chelsea's returning stars include English midfielders Frank Lampard and Joe Cole, Irish midfielder Damien Duff, Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben, Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech, English defender John Terry and Argentine forward Hernan Crespo.
"It's very, very good for us to build our group for the season," said Mourinho, whose club will open the season Aug. 14 at Wigan. "To play against an American team for the first time will be a very nice experience."
Team Is Thrown a Change-Up
Why was United playing on a Friday night instead of a normal Saturday date? The Nationals begin a homestand on Monday against Colorado and stadium officials requested an extra day to convert the field from soccer to baseball. . . . Defender David Stokes (sprained ankle) and forward Alecko Eskandarian (concussion) were not available.