Chelsea prepares for start of summer tour with Sounders FC
Chelsea FC, the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League winner, kicks off a four-game summer tour with a friendly Wednesday against the Sounders
Seattle Times staff reporter
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RENTON — The reigning club champion of Europe has arrived.
Chelsea FC, which won the UEFA Champions League title in May, held its first local training sessions Sunday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. The English club will kick off its four-game summer tour at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in a friendly against Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.
Nicknamed "The Blues," Chelsea will also play exhibitions against French league runner-up Paris Saint-Germain on July 22 at Yankee Stadium and Italian powerhouse AC Milan on July 28 in Miami.
Additionally, Chelsea will serve as this year's international opponent in the MLS All-Star Game on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
Defender Gary Cahill is looking forward to bringing preseason preparation stateside before the English Premier League campaign kicks off in August.
"I like it. I think it's good," he said. "Obviously we get to see a lot of the U.S., and the facilities here are amazing, so that's good for us. We're playing some big games over here. ... It gives us time to get together as a group and (bond with) the new players that have signed."
Five of Chelsea's stars didn't travel with the team, but will join the tour in progress. Those players — forward Fernando Torres, midfielders Florent Malouda and Raul Meireles, and defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole — aren't expected to be available Wednesday.
About 49,000 tickets were sold for the friendly as of Thursday.
Alonso, Johnson MLS All-Stars
Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and forward Eddie Johnson have been added to the MLS All-Star team by coach Ben Olsen, the league announced Sunday.
Alonso and Johnson will be available on the 18-man game-day roster against Chelsea; Olsen will determine the team's starting lineup at a later date.
This is Alonso's second straight all-star nomination, but the first time he'll be on the active squad. Johnson, who boasts a team-leading eight goals, is a three-time all-star.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @joshuamayers