Norwich City prepare for a step into the unknown against Mexican opponents in USA tour opener
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Norwich City take a step into the unknown in the early hours of Friday morning (BST) when they embark on the opening match of their three-date USA tour against Mexicans Dorados di Sinaloa.
The Canaries' friendly will form the centrepiece of a day of celebrations to herald the launch of Sacramento's first professional soccer team in 2014. A Sacramento All-Stars select will host MLS side San Jose Earthquakes' second string prior to City's bow at the home of Sacramento's River Cats baseball side, Raley Field.
Norwich's opening game of their pre-season preparations is swiftly followed by two tests against MLS opposition in the Earthquakes and Portland Timbers.
Chris Hughton was scheduled to join up with the squad overnight and City assistant boss Colin Calderwood believes the early blowouts will offer some invaluable clues ahead of the meaningful business with Everton's Premier League visit to Carrow Road.
'You don't know what to expect really in that first pre-season game. We will look to be competitive because that is the nature of professional footballers. We will try to win but its not really about that,' he said.
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'It is about coming through the game with no injuries and the players being able to train the following day. That is the most important thing for us in this first couple of games and making sure we don't pick up any knocks.
'It helps that the two MLS sides will be ahead of us physically as they are well into their seasons but that is watered down slightly by the fact some of their international players will be away on duty. We won't know too much about these sides but really about what we look to get out of the game.'
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City midfielder Elliott Bennett is one of the few members of Hughton's squad to have experienced Mexican opposition.
'I played the U17s when I was at Lilleshall, way back. All I remember was they were very fit lads. It will be a good test for us,' he said.
'It's just about trying to get fit. We are all winners but it is about coming through training with no injuries. We want to win because that is why we play football.
'What I haven't experienced before is playing sides at this stage who are well into their own season, so facing the two MLS teams is going to be a bit different.
'They will be ahead of us and that is a challenge. Over here we have started to do a lot more football and not just the fitness work, so it will be a good chance to step things up.'
Dorados are also in pre-season training and Paraguayan striker Julio Cesar Rodriguez Gimenez has been their biggest summer signing after switching from Argentine football.
The club is based in north-west Mexico and among their notable former players is current Bayern Munich and ex-Barcelona boss Josep Guardiola.
• You can interact live with Paddy Davitt who will be blogging direct from Sacramento's Raley Field for City's tour opener. Follow the match link on pinkun.com. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30pm (PT), 3:30am (BST).