The first game of our trip to the USA and Canada is now less than a week away, with Seattle Sounders set to welcome us to CenturyLink Field for a pre-season friendly on Saturday, kick-off 1pm local time (9pm UK time).
We’ll then travel to Canada to face Toronto FC next Wednesday (July 23), before returning to the States to oppose Chicago Fire the following Saturday (July 26).
After the impressive displays of the USA national team at the recent World Cup finals in Brazil, Steffen expects our MLS opponents will reflect the progressive style exhibited by their international colleagues when we face them in the coming days.
“Football is growing in America – so is the MLS,” said our 44-year-old Coach. “You can really feel it. At the World Cup when the States played against Portugal in the first round, over 25 million people watched the game so it’s definitely getting bigger.
“We know from when we played in America two years ago how difficult it is to play against MLS teams. You can see from the fact that the likes of Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe – players from the highest level – have signed for Seattle and Toronto.
“Of course, we have to try to beat them when we go there and it will be really important experience for everyone.
“It’s always a challenge for every player to win games. We’re in pre-season at the moment and it’s clear to see how hard the players are working. The games all form part of the preparation for the first game of the season against West Ham.”