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New Trafford in the New World

Manchester United have spent nearly every preseason partially touring the United States of America. From the look of the crowds in this year’s United States-based preseason matches, Manchester United remains just as well supported as the likes of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in the states and even took over LA Galaxy’s home stadium the StubHub Center. This great amount of support can make these road games feel like home matches for the Red Devils. However, what exactly could this mean for Manchester United and what effect could this have on the players and staff?

1. Brings out the best of each player

No matter what level the player is, footballers generally play better in stadiums with more supporters. While it’s not necessary for players to be at their best in pre-season, it does help them get back into form more quickly. It also reminds them an important reason why they are playing. Not only for themselves but because of the supporters. The sport is nothing without supporters purchasing tickets and traveling tens, hundreds, perhaps even thousands of miles to see them play. It feels exceptionally good to see large numbers of supporters in places they would not expect. The United States is a melting pot in many ways, and one such way is the clubs they support. In any given match you’ll see dozens of different jerseys. Thankfully for Manchester United, many of them have been red.

2. Lessens the pressure

For the players already established in the first team, preseason is merely a dress rehearsal or even a formality. For youth players like Demetri Mitchell or fringe players such as Phil Jones, these games are much more important because good performances are vital to integrate themselves into the plans for the next season. Pseudo home games like these US friendlies make the job a bit easier than it would be in a more hostile or unknown environment. For American United fans, that one game will most likely be the only time they see those players live at least for that year. Some of the fans may not know every player’s name or history by heart, but it doesn’t matter because they are wearing the shirt of their favorite club.

3. Results become even less important

Pre season is about becoming as fit as possible for the upcoming season. Therefore, good results and few if any injuries are the objectives to accomplish that. Or at least that’s the case for most clubs. Along with those objectives, it should also be a priority for the club to gel and feel happy and energized for the new season ahead. You have players coming in and out of the club on a permanent basis. Some players are about to head out on loan, some are returning from loan. Some may be returning from holiday, injury, or international duty. But if the members of the club are enjoying themselves every day of preseason, that does a lot of good for squad morale. With the right players, transfers, and tactics, the pre season game results will be pleasant and the regular season itself will be dealt with head on with full motivation. But in order to set the stage for that, a positive preseason with the players interacting with their global fan base and playing abroad in stadiums with plenty of support will get them as prepared emotionally and mentally for the season ahead as possible. With Manchester United’s large and growing American fan base, they need not worry about that.

No matter where you are in the world, keep on showing your support for this great club!

Written by Ivan Ornelas

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