Orlando City v Newcastle United match preview (ish)

Posted on July 23rd, 2011 | 6 Comments |

Orlando City v Newcastle United 2011
Destination Florida
In the second of their three-leg American pre-season tour, Newcastle United face Orlando City tonight.

Our pre-season tour of the States continues with a game against Orlando City Soccer today. With much of America gripped in a heatwave – and Florida’s pretty hot and humid in normal circumstances anyway – the game will be another tough test of the team’s fitness.

Pardew said that, whilst the heat was an issue to contend with, he thought that playing in it would be beneficial to the squad in the long run:

The heat is definitely an issue.

No matter where we play in America, it will be hot. We can’t do anything about that, we just have to play in whatever weather that day has in store for us.

It is not unusual,” said Pardew, doing a commendable impersonation of Tom Jones. “I saw the light of the night that I past by her window,” he added, trying to perfect the voice.*

But it is good that we are training in this heat. The benefit of all the training and work we are putting in now will certainly pay off later.

Orlando City – who are coached by Adrian Heath – are in the USL Professional Division, which is in the 3rd tier of American soccer, but they do lead that division. They lost 3-1 to Bolton last Sunday, so maybe that gives us some sort of Premier League yardstick against which we can compare our own performance tonight.

Team News

Hatem Ben Arfa has left America to nurse the ankle injury he sustained in the 0-0 draw at Kansas, so he won’t take part, but Dan Gosling – who cracked his head in the last game – should be okay and available for selection.

Enrique – who I believe actually travelled to America – wasn’t used in the last game, which fuelled further speculation about his potential imminent departure to Liverpool, Arsenal or wherever, so I’m assuming he won’t be in contention for this game either.

Given that it’s a friendly and the whole idea of the tour is to experiment, it’s impossible to put in an accurate guess as to how the team might line up. But if the starting XI from the last game is anything to go by, it could be something like:

Tim Krul.
Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez.
Peter Lovenkrands, Dan Gosling, Cheik Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux.
Leon Best/Shola, Demba Ba.

With Leon Best or Shola being a straight swap for Ben Arfa.

Shola is certainly hoping he gets in the starting line-up as he sees this as a possible chance to stake a claim for some sort of role next season. Shola said:

No matter who it’s against, if you’re wearing a Newcastle shirt, you want to do your best

I just want to start the season in the right shape, and I’m working hard on my fitness.

When it comes to August and Arsenal, you want to be ready, and that’s what these games are here for.

People say the results don’t really matter, but as a professional, when you cross the white line, you want to do your best.

I’m not going to bother with any Orlando City team news as I just don’t know enough about them to make any intelligent comments (not that that’s stopped me in the past).

The match kicks off at 19:30 Orlando time, which is 00:30 on Sunday morning UK time.


*No he didn’t, Ed.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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6 Responses

  1. 2 pre season friendly’s has show exactly what we are lacking.
    1# Should have been our FIRST signing a Quality striker.
    2# strength in depth, new signings look promising.
    They should have kept Carrol & Nolan,Barton, Enrique should have been tied down sooner.
    Every day- every interview that goes by Pardew looks and sound more and more of a Puppet or is it Muppet?,I think even he cant swallow much more of this Shite from Cashley and co

  2. toonarmybill….well done mate from turning a pretty good write up into a mental rant against the club. No doubt where your loyalties lie eh ?

    Didn’t the club realise before they arranged the trip that the temperatures in Orlando in August are about 400°….?…

    Could someone also please tell me what Orlando as a club, and as a city stand to gain from this game, they are by all accounts third tier US standard…and by all accounts need to pay the toon a pretty penny for turning up, AND half a mill to change out the regular astroturf for normal grass just for the toon visit…hmm…

  3. Not guaranteeing either WT but my sister says its on Direct TV in the US so it must be broadcast somewhere ?

  4. AndyMac says:
    July 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “Not guaranteeing either WT but my sister says its on Direct TV in the US so it must be broadcast somewhere ?”

    Aye Andy. One looks official and the other one looks pretty good too, more professional than the usual dodgy streams anyway so it’s worth a go.

    I’m putting up details.