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Portsmouth ends hellish tour in borrowed uniforms

  • Guardian, Monday, July 26, 2010 1:34 PM

Needless to say, Portsmouth won't be returning to North America on tour any time soon. The English club, relegated from the Premier League and still in bankruptcy, was forced to wear uniforms borrowed from D.C. United when its equipment bag along with 13 other bags went missing following a nightmare journey from Edmonton to Washington to wrap up its summer tour.

That was par for the course for Portsmouth on its two-week tour. It got stuck in Chicago because of a lightning storm, so it arrived in Washington only nine hours before Saturday's game against United and its players only had four hours sleep. Predictably, Pompey was crushed, 4-0, in the 100-degree heat.

The marathon tour started with a 42-hour trip from Portsmouth to San Diego via Chicago -- where the scheduled flight was canceled because of mechanical problems -- for its first game against Club America. "The time it took us to get here, we could have flown to Australia," a furious Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill told Reuters after the D.C. game.

In the game in Edmonton, goalkeeper Jon Stewart, who joined the tour on a tryout, suffered a broken leg. In the D.C. game, another goalkeeper, Jamie Ashdown, who is trying to earn a new contract after the departure of England World Cup goalie David James, was injured after colliding with teammate Joel Ward.

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