Miles away from home: Stifling heat but tempers haven’t boiled over this time

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A free-kick away from Providence Park is the Cheerful Bullpen pub.

And the night before the game a cheerful group of Newcastle United fans from Tyneside, Dallas and New York gathered for a few drinks the night before the club took on Portland Timbers.

The floodlights were on at the stadium for a brief closed training session on the stadium’s artificial pitch.

Sadly, fans were not invited, unlike in Sacramento and Milwaukee.

The openness in those two cities was welcome, and the passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of those supporters who watched Steve McClaren’s side train was an eye-opener.

Newcastle, of course, aren’t a global club on the scale of Manchester United or Barcelona.

But the club has a stature abroad that we don’t always appreciate in our Tyneside bubble, despite it’s 46-year trophy drought.

Let’s hope supporters on both sides of the Atlantic can again be proud of their team over the coming 10 months.


This summer’s tour of the USA hasn’t been nearly as eventful as Newcastle United’s last visit to the country four years ago.

The club has crossed the huge country, from shining sea to (almost) shining sea, without the kind of problems witnessed in 2004, when the team played in Kansas City, Orlando and Columbus during an American heatwave.

There were tantrums, a torn-up pitch and much else besides. That tour was a learning curve.

Fast forward to the present day, and head coach Steve McClaren will have learnt a lot over the past 10 or so days.

The heat has been stifling at times, but tempers haven’t boiled over.

The players and staff haven’t even had a night out to blow off steam, in contrast to previous pre-seasons. Newcastle’s fans, however, haven’t gone short of a beer in the USA.