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Young Blues Start American Adventure

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A team of young players from Chelsea's Academy is currently in the United States and has played its first game in Disney's Soccer Showcase, America's most prestigious youth football tournament.

The opposition were Chicago Sockers for a fixture that saw the Chelsea Under 16 side draw 1-1.

Chelsea are the Official Professional Football Club of Disney's Wide World of Sports, a long-term partnership that is aimed at promoting football at all levels in the United States.

The Academy side are competing against youth teams from the Atlanta, New York and Chicago areas at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, with the game against the Sockers taking place on Thursday.

The young Chelsea players controlled play throughout the game but were rewarded with just a single goal from Frank Nouble (pictured courtesy of Disney/Preston Mack), scored in the 64th minute.

Precise midfield passing and good movement allowed Nathan Livings and Billy Knott to cause problems for the Socker defence as Chelsea enjoyed 64 per cent of the possession in the first-half. However despite the positive play, the team didn't capitalise upon our openings with Nouble and Harry Roubins missing the target on several occasions.

Andrew Spencer and Billy Clifford managed to quell Chicago's threat with impressive tackling in midfield and the side from England constantly looked dangerous down the wings.

It was this type of move which ultimately led to the first goal as Nathaniel Chalobah sped down the right and crossed to Nouble who, from the edge of the box, turned and fired a shot past the helpless Chicago keeper.

Chicago's first chance didn't come until the 69th minute when they forced Harry Isham to make a fantastic left-footed save. The Americans equalised on 74th minutes when Tim Kreutz held off Rohan Ince's challenge and scored with a low shot.

Despite the draw, the manager of the Chelsea side and former first team star, Eddie Newton, was pleased with the performance.

'It's important for us in the Academy to give young players different experiences and take them out of their usual comfort zone,' explained Newton.

'It's good for us to see how they react in this type of tournament environment with multiple matches over a short period.'

Chelsea's next fixture is at 2.30pm (US time) today when we face Atlanta's Concorde Fire Elite for our second group match. On Saturday at 8.30 am, we play NY Hota Academy 91.

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