After a week of pre-season training in Carrington City fly to Portland, Oregon tomorrow afternoon for the second stage in their summer programme. They will meet up with the Touré brothers and spend a week training at the Nike headquarters before playing Portland Timbers - a second tier side - on Saturday.
I think that the following day - Sunday 18th - the squad fly to New York where they will be met by England's brave heroes Gareth Barry, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joe Hart (who, to be fair, did nothing wrong.) They will contest the New York Football Challenge at Red Bull Arena (actually in New Jersey) with games against Sporting Lisbon and Hans Backe's New York Red Bulls on Friday (23rd) and Sunday (25th) evenings respectively.
There's two more games in the US: Club América in Atlanta on 28 July then Internazionale in Baltimore on 31 July. I imagine we'll fly back to Manchester on Sunday 1 August. Training at Carrington will restart on Monday 2 August, joined by the last World Cup leftovers: Carlos Tévez, Jérôme Boateng, David Silva and Nigel de Jong. (I don't know when Vladimir Weiss and Roque Santa Cruz will start training, I guess Weiss will join with the England players and Roque with the final four.)
Once back in Manchester we've got a friendly in Dortmund on the Wednesday night and then against Valencia at Eastlands on the Saturday. Then it's another free week before White Hart Lane the following Saturday lunchtime. So the whole programme is six weeks long and contains seven friendlies.
My question, though, is how likely the last four joiners are to be able to play our first game? Their first day of pre-season will be twelve days before we go to Spurs. I'm not a fitness expert, so am very keen to hear from anyone who is. Our chances of getting anything there are slim enough with Tévez, de Jong, Silva and Boateng on the pitch. Without them it does not look good at all. Keen to hear your opinions on this.