The pre-season tournament has been a staple for many years now, but they’ve hardly ever had the Premier League name behind them. The top-flight in English football will take it’s brand to the USA for a pre-season tournament that will strictly feature clubs from the division. The clubs confirmed to feature in the inaugural tournament are Aston Villa, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Fulham and Newcastle United.
Until their recent plummet towards the bottom of the table, Leeds United were also set to compete in the US. Uncertainty surrounding their status in the league with a possible relegation in sight has lead to them being replaced. The latest addition to the tournament’s line-up are a Fulham side who have surprised many this season with their climb up the table.
Often seen as way to get players back to match fitness and to trial the inclusion of new signees, summer tournaments are a great way for clubs to prepare for the upcoming season. While the competitive nature of the games aren’t usually quite what you would see between teams during a regular season match, it will be interesting to see how players perform on centre stage in such a lucrative market. The backing of the Premier League brand could also be a sign of things to come, especially with the US being one of three host nations at the 2026 World Cup.
This new tournament could potentially act as a trial for regular season games in the Premier League to be played outside of the UK, much like the US sports that have done the reverse by allowing regular season games to be payed in Europe in recent years. Fans in the USA will see a total of nine matches between Saturday 22nd July and Sunday 30th July played in Atlanta (Georgia), Harrison (New Jersey), Orlando (Florida), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) and Landover (Maryland).
The Premier League Asia Cup was seen as a great way to strengthen the brand in Asia with biennial editions taking place in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. This years pre-season spectacle will be aired in the US on NBCUniversal and Peacock.