Fans' Reaction: Philadelphia Union 2-2 Swansea City
This meant that fans back in the UK could watch the action if they were willing to stay up until midnight - and it was worth it just the hear their attempt at the Welsh national anthem!
It might have been only a meaningless friendly, but the Americans made the most of the spectacle, having huge flags out on the pitch before kick off, and the players lining up to hear both anthems - sang in two very different ways!
Well worth a look:
But considering it was "last minute", it`s a good effort!
Paul Clement named his strongest side in the first half, mostly made up of first-team players barring the goalkeeper Nordfeldt and Bartley.
Swans (first half): Nordfeldt, Naughton, Mawson, Bartley, Olsson, Roque Mesa, Carroll, Fer, Routledge, Narsingh, Ayew.
Swans (second half): Nordfeldt, Rangel, Kingsley, Van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Britton (c), Grimes, Fulton, Montero, Barrow, McBurnie.
After an early penalty within 5 minutes that was harsh on Leroy Fer, the Swans took the lead with goals from Jordan Ayew and Kyle Bartley, both coming from Tom Carroll corners.
It took us a bit of time to get up with the speed of the game, as the hosts were clearly in better condition than we were.
New Summer signing Roque Mesa started the game and it didn`t take him long to make an impression in the first half. Cool under pressure in possession, he played in the middle of a midfield trio, with Carroll and Fer either side. Fer was sort of playing box to box, but with more freedom to push further forward than the other two.
Mesa showed little signs of a great, deep-lying midfielder - one of them being his constant awareness of where all of his team-mates were. As he anticipated receiving a pass, he`d be looking all around him to see what his passing options were. It`s surprising how few midfielders actually do this. Leon Britton is another, and both have similar positioning skills as a deep lying player - always moving to where the ball is to offer a passing option.
Pre season or not, Roque Mesa is the best player on the pitch by a country mile. #Swans— MIKE (@MiikeThomas) July 15, 2017
Roque Mesa looks absolute quality! @SwansOfficial— Gareth Thomas (@musicgareth) July 15, 2017
Mesa is running the show, dictating the play and telling his team-mates what to do— Vital Swansea City (@VitalSwansea) July 15, 2017
What was quite remarkable early on was just how many people were tuning in on Youtube to watch us play in a meaningless friendly, at midnight.
Nearly 4,400 watching this friendly on Youtube— Vital Swansea City (@VitalSwansea) July 15, 2017
Later in the second half the viewing figures were well into 5k.
I didn`t stay up to watch the second half, but Paul Clement named a completely different outfield 10, keeping Nordfeldt on.
The second half featured mainly second-team players, and many fans said it just showed again how much strength in depth we`re lacking, though we didn`t need a friendly game to prove that.
Let's be honest, we didn't need that friendly last night to tell us that our defensive and winger cover is far from good enough, we need 3-4— Vital Swansea City (@VitalSwansea) July 16, 2017
The Swans weren`t able to build on their 2-1 lead, and allowed the hosts to equalise to finish the game off 2-2.
decent in first half but shockingly poor in the second only Britton would start for me out of that lot and maybe Fernandez— Paul Davies (@PSDavies1980) July 16, 2017
Whilst these friendlies are meaningless and pointless, the scoreline doesn`t matter, but they still provide a general feel of how the team is shaping up - although not this early as these first few games simply provide a fitness and stamina boost.
What many fans weren`t happy with though was Paul Clement`s comments afterwards that we`re only looking to bring in 2 more players. It was evident from last season that we needed 3 or 4 at least.
We`ve already seen a number of players leave, whether on loan or permanent, and most of them will need replacing, not to mention our strength in depth needs improving - drastically.
What Paul Clement thought...
"It`s another good exercise for us, we worked really hard on the training ground yesterday (on Friday), we had two sessions and I think it showed with some of the players looking a little bit leggy,"
"But it is another 45 minutes for all the players as we get into the middle of pre-season now.
"There were no injuries, which is positive.
"We did not get off to a very good start but we started to get going and play well. We got the ball forward, had a lot of set-players and it was probably a fair scoreline going in at half-time.
"I was not so pleased with the second half and the way we played. We did not create much and when we got into good areas we were wasteful.
"I think overall Philadelphia Union deserved a draw, they looked physically better than us and it showed that they are into their season and we are just getting pre-season going."
"We played in a good team in a good stadium. It was a nice evening and a good exercise for both teams.
"We will have a session tomorrow (Sunday) and double sessions on Monday and Tuesday, so we will still be working hard on the training field and we will increase the minutes for some players in the game on Wednesday night.
"That will mean less minutes for some players, but we will then flip that around for the second game."
We need at least 4 players added to the squad 5 when siggy goes 😔— burt johnson (@burtjoh08752836) July 16, 2017
A lot of work needed on the squad. 2 wingers striker right back at least. VDH grimes dyer routledge ki rangel need to go— Woody HD (@nathanrees7) July 16, 2017
2-2 Ayew scored with Bartley assist ... 2nd half .... LOT of word to do, dont think many will be in the PL squad and fitness needs work— ✨Nicky D✨ (@nickydee40) July 16, 2017