Preview: Swansea City v Chivas Guadalajara
16th July 2014
The Swans face top Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara tonight (Wednesday, 8pm local time) in the first pre-season fixture of their American tour.
The impressive 42,000-capacity Miller Park in Milwaukee is the venue as the baseball stadium hosts its first football match.
With a week's training behind them in Chicago, the Swans' preparations have headed to Milwaukee as they take on the 11-time Mexican champions.
Chivas' pre-season has already included friendlies against Brazilian side Cruzeiro and fellow Mexican outfit Cruz Azul, while they are also due to play Bayern Munich.
And Swans boss Garry Monk is looking forward to seeing how his team shapes up in the opening game of their tour.
"Chivas are ahead of us in terms of pre-season preparation, which we have to take into account," said Monk. "They should be sharper because they've already played a few games, but that's great for us because it shows us what we need to do during the rest of pre-season.
"I have set the team a number of targets to achieve during the game, which I will keep within the team, and it will be an amazing experience for our boys to play at this incredible stadium."
With triple training sessions being held almost every day during the tour, the squad now looks to start building match sharpness with Monk set to name a different XI in each half.
And the Swans boss feels the preparations in America have been hugely beneficial as the club continue to build towards the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign in August.
"It has been a great tour for us so far. We had great facilities in Chicago and the players put in a lot of hard work," he said. "Now we're in Milwaukee and the facilities are excellent for us. The fundamental bit is that you get the right amount of work in, but the players need to enjoy themselves too.
"I know what level they're at and how they're feeling. I've experienced all types of pre-seasons - I've seen it all - and I've added bits to what I want us to do to which I think will benefit the players.
"That's the key bit - everything we do must be to improve the players and get them in the best shape possible in order to play the type of football we want to play.
"I spoke to them on the first day of pre-season and told them very clearly what we are doing and why.
"Anything less than 100 per cent is not good enough, whether that's stretching, running drills or playing a competitive game.
"If you don't commit on the training pitch then you'll never commit in the actual match itself.
"If you are fully committed to the hours you put in on the training pitch in the week then you'll be physically, mentally and ready football-wise for the game.
"And I feel, so far, I've had that positive reaction from the players - they've worked really hard."
Only Jay Fulton will be unavailable due to a knee ligaments injury as the Swans get set to run out in front of over 30,000 at the home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.
The pitch has been specially adapted to host its first football match, with Monk getting a first glimpse of the surface during a stadium tour on Tuesday.
"It's a fantastic stadium," added Monk. "The staff and myself had a tour around the stadium and the facilities are unbelievable.
"The pitch won't be a problem for us. I've seen the work they've done on the sandy area of the baseball stadium and we have no concerns.
"The players will enjoy playing at a fantastic venue and I know Chivas have a fantastic following so there should be an incredible atmosphere at the game."
Swans squad: Lukasz Fabianski, Gerhard Tremmel, David Cornell, Angel Rangel, Dwight Tiendalli, Jazz Richards, Ashley Williams (capt), Chico Flores, Jordi Amat, Kyle Bartley, Ben Davies, Neil Taylor, Stephen Kingsley, Leon Britton, Jonjo Shelvey, Adam King, Josh Sheehan, Nathan Dyer, Marvin Emnes, Wayne Routledge, Alex Bray, Bafetimbi Gomis, Rory Donnelly.
One of the most historic and successful clubs in Mexico, Chivas have won 11 first division titles and two Copa México trophies.
They are also the only team in the country to exclusively play Mexican players only, with the club heavily contributing to the national team.
Chivas, founded in 1906, have helped launch the careers of Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, ex-Arsenal forward Carlos Vela, former Fulham defender Carlos Salcido and captain Omar Bravo, who is back at the club following spells in Spain and America.
The team's three colors (red, white, and blue) symbolize "Fraternity, Union, and Sports."
*Please note, kick off is 8pm local time and 2am (Thursday morning) GMT.