Chelsea continue to win hearts and minds on their tour stateside. After serving up a Champions League ‘antipasto’, drawing 1-1 with newly-minted Paris Saint-Germain, in the spiritual home of baseball the Yankee Stadium in New York, the Blues now head to Philadelphia to take on a select MLS All Stars tonight.
‘Soccer’ as they call it in this part of the world, is in rude health in the USA. OK, we all know it will never compete with NBA or NFL but the football faithful, the fans who stuck with their teams through thick and thin over the last two decades are now, at long last, reaping some rewards for their hard work and dedication. Soccer is growing here, and the evidence is in the quality of home-grown players in the USA national team, the American players playing in the Premiership and the fact that many of Europe’s biggest names choose the MLS, not as the footballing graveyard of yesteryear but as a place to practice their art while still having something to offer even the biggest European clubs.
The USA has long been called the ‘sleeping giant of world football’ and now it’d beginning to stir. Champions of Europe, Chelsea FC, enjoy a strong fan base here in the States, the clubs resurgence in the nineties coincided with an upswing in the game’s interest in the US, and many Americans took the opportunity to get behind an exciting new club that had both a rich and glorious history and a blank canvas for the future. The support is evident here as the Blues attract hordes of fans to every event. The Yankee Stadium was packed with over 40,000 fans, almost al of them wearing Chelsea shirts, their joyous free-scoring game in Seattle against the Sounders was as much an affirmation of the relationship between Chelsea and the fanatical Sounders’ supporters as a celebration of the MLS and soccer in general.
Chelsea have every reason to be pleased with themselves, after winning the FA Cup and the Champions League last year the have added reinforcements and cemented the manager’s position. There is a positive feeling at Stamford Bridge and a genuine belief that next season will yield yet more silverware with the Chelsea name on it. Last year was a huge turning point for the club and lifted the weight of the Champions League from their shoulders, freeing them to pursue a new and promising future.
Dolce&Gabbana has a lot in common with Chelsea’s American supporters. When many other major fashion labels looked elsewhere for marketing opportunities, Dolce&Gabbana followed its passion and supported Chelsea. Dressing the team since 2010 as well as holding the Dolce&Gabbana Lounge in the heart of Stamford Bridge, it is a partnership to be proud of and excited about, especially in the light of recent successes but also in respect of next season and the possibilities it offers.
The Champions League victory in Munich last year will go in the annals of history. An epic final and a team filled with the ‘true blue’ of Chelsea. As ‘The Blues’ kick their season off in football’s ‘New World’ these images serve as a snapshot as moment of destiny for Chelsea, the moment they joined the pantheon of Europe’s football superpowers and the moment the world opened up to the club. Taken just after their victory, the players, dressed in the official Dolce&Gabbana team uniform, are in celebratory mood.
Chelsea will take on AC Milan on the July 28th in Miami, a meeting of special interest for Swide – two of the biggest clubs in the world and two of the passions of Dolce&Gabbana playing in front of passionate football supporters. We’re following the game with guest blogger David Heitner, so make sure you catch the details of what promises to be a real summer feast of football.