NUFC could do with some Orlando bloom

By Lee Ryder on Jul 21, 11 05:05 PM

The dust has settled since last night, Newcastle United have left Kansas, Hatem Ben Arfa has left America and the band of media men and Toon fans in the US have now set off for Orlando.

The Ben Arfa situation, thankfully, does not seem as bad as first feared but there were a few moments when it looked pretty grim.

However, like with any player who suffers such a horror injury, Newcastle have to be careful.

He wasn't rushed or risked last season, so why start now?

There is no point in putting Newcastle's star man in any danger of missing the real stuff.

The conditions in the US aren't ideal for a player nursing a twisted ankle with plenty of flights ahead and this scorching heat not helping either.

On reflection again, the performance in the first half of Sylvain Marveaux was a big plus for Newcastle.

But there wasn't too much else to hang your hat on.

And while the clean sheet was nice for Alan Pardew's defence, it was a little overshadowed by the lack of real opportunities in front of goal apart from Marveaux's unlucky effort and Ben Arfa's ambitious shot that hit the upright early on.

Nevertheless this is what pre-season is all about, fine-tuning.

We now move on to Orlando City and the Citrus Bowl will be the venue for game two of three.

Orlando play in the USL Pro Division and are not of MLS standard.

Whether that makes life easier for United we'll see but with players like Enrique and Vuckic carrying knocks there aren't a great deal of options.

A goal would be nice and might just ignite things a bit - as well as give the great support over here something to cheer.

Hopefully things go as planned in Holland too tonight as the Toon's strong looking second string take on HVV Hollandia.

Will sign off here, and update in Orlando.

Follow me on Twitter for more updates as we go @lee_ryder


BeeGuy said:

Lee, will we get Blog on the Everglades Saturday and Blog on the Olentangy on Tuesday?

Stephen Morgan said:

lee, any idea why there are no names on the backs of shirts & are you able to buy Toon stuff?
see you in Columbus & are you available for a pint as well as John Carver?

Mark Hadala said:

So where is the pregame in Orlando? I have my tickets in the Toon section but need to know if a pregame pub has been identified. Also, will there be a meet and greet like there was for the Bolton game in Orlando?

Randy (Toon Winnipeg) said:

Back in Canada from Kansas last night, 16 hour drive, 2 days. Thanks for your coverage Lee, as well as the insights. Looking forward to following your coverage of Orlando and Columbus.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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