Newcastle, one of the many English Premier League teams touring the USA this summer, is having a rough time because of high temperatures and a depleted roster.
Three players -- Yohan Cabaye, Joey Barton and Nile Ranger -- were denied visas and remained at home. Cabaye’s absence resulted from a technicality, while Barton and Ranger were both denied because of criminal records. Midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa returned to recover from an ankle injury sustained during the 1-1 draw Wednesday against the Sporting Kansas City. Midfielder Dan Gosling also suffered a head injury in the Kansas City game.
Newcastle on Saturday faces Orlando City of the USL Pro League at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Playing in the stifling Florida humidity may take a backseat to some of the other problems the Magpies have encountered in the states.
“The heat is definitely an issue,” Newcastle United coach Alan Pardew said. “No matter where we play in America, it will be hot. We can’t do anything about that, we just have to play in whatever weather that day has in store for us. ... But it is good that we are training in this heat. The benefit of all the training and work we are putting in now will certainly pay off later.”