Angel rangel swans swansea city usa tour america

10th July
Angel Rangel is currently undergoing his 10th pre-season with the Swans having arrived from Spain in 2007. He has sampled training camps in the likes of Sweden, Holland, Spain, Austria and Germany, but America remains his favourite. Currently on his third trip Stateside, the adopted Welshmen looks back on the first few days in Washington.

Having left the Liberty Stadium early on Thursday morning, it took us 16 hours to reach our hotel in the centre of Washington. First there was a four-hour bus trip to Heathrow followed by an eight-hour flight to the States. Throw in a 45-minute delay sitting on the plane on the runway and a 90-minute slog to get through customs in Washington and everyone was pleased to see our beds come midnight.
Then it was an early start for our first training session at the University of Maryland. The facilities and set up at the university are fantastic. Unbelievable in fact. It's even got its own stadium within the impressive grounds that holds 54,000 spectators - which I'm told they regularly fill for college sport.
There is an indoor and outdoor pool on campus, plus gyms and pitches galore. I've even been told the indoor pool is where Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps broke one of his world records.
The first session was a bit of a slog because most of the squad was still feeling the effects of the trip, the jet-lag and the unbelievable humidity and heat that is topping 33C.
We are currently being put through two sessions a day with gym and pool work, aerobics, running and more running in the morning and then football in the afternoon. It's tough in the heat, but thankfully we get a couple of hours between the sessions to rest or enjoy a siesta.
Hopefully all the work in the heat will pay off when we get back home - as it's done on our previous two tours to America under Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk.

After a gentle first session, the intensity has increased every day. Everyone has coped well though and looks fit considering it's our first week back. You normally get one or two who come back struggling after their summer off - no names mentioned - but that doesn't seem the case this time.
I would say all the players keep themselves ticking over during the close season. You have to these days, especially when you are trying to compete in the Premier League.
Seven weeks off is a long time, so for the three weeks before returning I would go out running every morning just to get my body ticking over again.

It's a bit strange being on pre-season without the whole squad here. Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Lukasz Fabianski, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jefferson Montero have been given extra time off after competing in the Euros and Copa America. Ki Sung-Yueng has been on national service with South Korea - so I'm sure he will have a few tales to tell on his return - while Andre Ayew played for his country in the summer and will join up with us next week.
It's a great chance for some of the youngsters who have travelled instead to gain some valuable experience over the 10 days. They have all done well and I'm sure it will give them the chance to learn exactly what is needed to train and compete at this level.
Young Daniel James is learning the hard way though after forgetting his passport - which eventually caught up with him before we reached Heathrow; bringing his flip flops to training instead of his trainers and then leaving his boots on the bus!

The tour is also a lot quieter without the likes of Ash and Tayls, although my roommate Jordi Amat is doing his best to keep me awake.
My fellow countryman is quiet during the day, but seems to come to life at night with his chatter and is determined to keep me awake for as long as possible.
I thought I would tire him out with a night-time walk into the city to see some of the sites Washington has to offer.
It's a classy place and luckily our hotel is in walking distance for most of the landmarks -including the White House.
To be honest though we weren't impressed with the building when we got there and quite surprised that there were hardly any other tourists there.
I suppose we should have looked it up on the internet before we made our way there rather than afterwards in the hotel. It turned out we we were only looking at the back of the building instead of the front.
We even took a selfie - which is now resigned to the trash - and we still haven't seen the front of the White House other than on the internet!