A mixed Southampton squad of established first team players and fringe players from the youth setup jetted out to Maryland, Baltimore this past week for the club’s first ever pre-season trip to the US.
Tying in nicely with the launch of the club’s new kit, developed by Maryland based brand Under Armour, it has been no secret that Saints are looking to expand their boundaries.
It was a great opportunity for the Southampton fans across the Atlantic to get a rare access to the players, as Claude Puel run the rule over his squad for the first time. Saints ran out 2-0 winners over DC United u23’s, travelled the sites of Washington DC during their stay, but perhaps most importantly hosted an open training session for the supporters. Bill Adlin, was one of the fans in attendance and he gave us this feedback.
‘Oh when the Saints came marching in to the University of Maryland’s Ludwig Field on Thursday, July 14 the fans couldn’t have been happier. The players seemed to have a great time as well!
During the preseason, Southampton FC travelled to Baltimore, Maryland both in order to train and to meet their new partners, Under Armour. On Thursday the Saints travelled to the University of Maryland for a training session. Fans were invited to watch the session and to meet and greet the players after.
Fans got to witness a variety of drills on a blazing hot 98 degree day. Corner kicks, possession drills and free kicks were among the skills that were practised. They even played a game that looked like keep away…with their hands. The crowd said “ooooohhhhhh” when one Saint was gated during a spectacular move on goal. We won’t name him here!
Fans were treated to a free Under Armour drawstring bag, complete with Southampton logo emblazoned on it, a very generous gesture by Southampton and Under Armour.
After practice Saints fans formed a line and all players and coaches signed autographs, shook hands and took pictures with them. They couldn’t have been more gracious. Virgil Van Dyk and Dusan Tadic were among the favourites as were newcomers Nathan Redmond and last season transfer Charlie Austin. Even new coach Claude Puel got in on the action. Kelvin Davis, recently retired goalkeeper and new addition to the coaching staff graciously emerged from the bus after practice to greet a fan that missed him the first time through.
It was a brilliant event. Thanks for Southampton and Under Armour for making it happen. Good luck this season! We’ll be pulling for you from across the pond.’