Past USA tours: The first adventure
With the Swans currently preparing for their seventh season in the Premier League with a 10-day training camp in Philadelphia and North Carolina, we take a look back at the club’s previous tours to America.
In the first part of the series, the Swans made their first trip Stateside in July 2012 . . .
The summer of 2012 was an exciting time for Swansea City. No sooner had the Great Dane Michael Laudrup landed at the Liberty Stadium, the club was jetting off for its first pre-season tour of America.
There was great anticipation and excitement around the club and the city as Swansea’s new manager took a 23-man new squad for a 12-day training camp in Denver (Colorado) and California.
Included were new signings Chico, Jonathan de Guzman and Michu, who arrived relatively unknown from Rayo Vallecano in Spain.
There was also a squad place for a certain 19-year-old Ben Davies who was promoted from the Youth set-up to join the seniors for the first time with regular left-back Neil Taylor on Team GB Olympic duty.
“To be involved with the first team in a tour like this is great,” said Davies. “I thought I would have been travelling to Aberystwyth not America, so it was a nice surprise to be involved in the tour squad. I’m hoping to use this trip as a step to push on with the first team.’’
Swans tour squad: Michel Vorm, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate, Leon Britton, Andrea Orlandi, Danny Graham, Wayne Routledge, Garry Monk, Luke Moore, Angel Rangel, Kemy Agustien, Mark Gower, Gerhard Tremmel, Fede Bessone, Chico, Jonathan De Guzman, Gwion Edwards, Jazz Richards, Nathan Dyer, Stephen Dobbie, Leroy Lita, Ben Davies, Michu.
The club had three games lined up against MLS duo Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes, plus local side Ventura County Fusion.
The Swans also had to overcome another challenge – that of soaring temperatures and high altitude.
First up was Western Conference side Colorado Rapids, owned by Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, at the 18,000-seater Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
The Swans were 2-0 down within 14 minutes before de Guzman pulled one back in the second half with a stunning free-kick from 25 yards.
It ended in a 2-1 defeat in front of a crowd of 6,484, with the Swans utilising the vast majority of his squad.
Swans: (first half): Tremmel, Richards, Monk (capt), Williams, Bessone, Britton, Gower, Michu, Dyer, Dobbie, Graham.
Swans (second half): Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Tate, Davies, Agustien, de Guzman, Orlandi, Routledge, Moore, Lita.
Having moved on to a new base in California, next up was Ventura County Fusion, who played their football in the Western Conference's Southwest Division of the Premier Development League (PDL) at their 5,000-seater Oxnard College Stadium.
Luke Moore scored the only goal of the game when he tucked home Danny Graham's cross after 21 minutes as Laudrup named two different starting XIs for each half.
Swans (first half): Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Tate, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Michu, Routledge, Moore, Graham.
Swans (second half): Tremmel, Richards, Monk, Williams, Bessone, Agustien, Gower, Orlandi, Edwards, Lita, Dobbie.
The Swans signed off their American tour with a thrilling 2-2 draw with MLS Western Conference leaders San Jose Earthquakes in front of 9,239 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Swans looked to be heading for victory as they led 2-0 with just over ten minutes remaining thanks to goals from Danny Graham and Chico - his first for the club since arriving from Genoa. But Steven Lenhart denied the Swans victory with two goals in five minutes.
Swans: Vorm, Rangel (Richards, ht), Chico (Monk, 75), Williams (Tate, 62), Davies (Bessone, 80), Britton (Agustien, 62), de Guzman (Gower, 75), Michu (Orlandi, 80), Routledge (Dyer, ht), Moore (Dobbie, 62), Graham (Lita, 75).
Unused subs: Tremmel, Edwards.
The positive pre-season campaign proved fruitful as the Swans finished ninth in the Premier League with 46 points and clinched a debut place in the Europa League after lifting the Capital One Cup for the first time with a crushing 5-0 victory over Bradford at Wembley Stadium.