Munich - FC Bayern München’s pre-season trip to the United States may have been planned with military-like precision, with PR events and sponsor appointments scheduled in alongside training sessions and warm-up matches, but head coach Pep Guardiola is nevertheless eagerly anticipating returning stateside with his star-studded line-up.
Guardiola: “Good tests”
The Spanish tactician, who spent the majority of a one-season sabbatical across the Atlantic before becoming Bayern boss, believes the nine-day tour will be the highlight of the record titleholders' summer preparations. “We’re really enthusiastic about our tour of the USA,” admitted the 43-year-old. “It’s a huge country and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Now fully in the swing of pre-season, the Münchner’s numbers in training are increasing with every passing day. Franck Ribery, Claudio Pizarro and World Cup participant Javi Martinez are all expected to feature in the Telekom Cup, with Guardiola set to base his squad selection for the US Tour on his players’ performances in Hamburg this weekend.
Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri and US Men's national team member Julian Green will return in time to face Chivas Guadalajara on 1 August. The remainder of Bayern’s World Cup contingent, including winners Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinteiger, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller and Mario Götze, will join up with the rest of the squad in Portland ahead of the Major League Soccer All-Star game six days later, two encounters which Guardiola believes “will be good tests for my team”.