In Review: The Premier League Summer Series

The Premier League season recommences on Friday evening with newly promoted Burnley taking on reigning champions Manchester City at Turf Moor. Whilst Vincent Kompany’s men will come into the game full of confidence following their barnstorming season in the Championship their chances of winning are about as long as the Arizona Cardinals’ odds to win Super Bowl LVIII.

Regardless of the outcome of the game one thing is for certain, and that is that there will be a hell of a lot more viewers tuning in from the United States than ever before. Soccer has been steadily increasing in popularity here ever since David Beckham made his high profile move from Real Madrid to LA Galaxy in 2007.

Evidence of that can be seen in the success of the Premier League Summer Series which was held across five NFL stadiums between July 22 and July 30. In this article we cast an eye back over the tournament and also look at some of the other high profile soccer games that have been held in the USA this summer.

Football match

The 2023 Premier League Summer Series

In April of this year Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters announced that the league would be holding a six team exhibition tournament in the United States. The teams chosen to take part were Aston Villa, Brentford, Brighton, Chelsea, Fulham and Newcastle.

Whilst Chelsea, Villa and Newcastle are all fairly substantial clubs there was an element of disappointment that other big name clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United didn’t make the cut.

Unfortunately though those clubs had already committed to their preseason schedules and couldn’t be included in the inaugural tournament. That didn’t diminish the excitement though as large crowds gathered at stadiums to watch high scoring games between the six teams.

It was Mauricio Pochettino’s team who got their hands on the silverware, finishing top of the six team league, sealing the trophy with a 2-0 win over London rivals Fulham.

(Chelsea’s 2-0 win against London sealed them the Premier League Summer Series title.)

Was the Premier League Summer Series a Success?

For a first attempt, probably. The largest crowd of the tournament was 70,789 for the clash between Newcastle and Chelsea and barring a low turnout of 16,134 for the game between Fulham and Aston Villa in Orlando the tournament was relatively well attended.

One way to ensure that the stadiums are sell outs however is to ensure that next year the tournament is stacked with bigger name clubs. Brighton, Brentford and Fulham are all great clubs with long histories and devoted domestic fanbases but to an American audience they aren’t a huge draw.

For this tournament to really take off next year we’re going to need to see at least 3 of the 6 teams being made up of Big Six clubs.

Other American Soccer Friendlies This Summer

Fortunately the Premier League Summer Series wasn’t the only show in town this summer as a number of huge football clubs travelled to the US to play in front of packed out crowds. Some of the highlights were:


Mikel Arteta’s men have been working hard this summer to put right the wrongs of last season and claim their first Premier League title since 2004. Their first game was a 5-0 rout against an MLS All-Star team at a sold out Audi Field in Washington. The Gunners followed this up with a 2-0 loss to Manchester United and an epic 5-3 win over Barcelona at the MetLife and SoFi Stadium respectively.

(A sell-out crowd at the SoFi Stadium watched this cracker.)

Real Madrid

Regardless of what Manchester United fans tell you, Real Madrid are the biggest club in world football. This summer lucky American fans got the chance to watch the world’s most famous football club in action in a number of great exhibition games against Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan and Manchester United.



Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds have helped to make fourth tier Wrexham one of the biggest names in world football thanks to their high profile takeover of the club and subsequent documentary on Disney.

Keen to capitalise on the club’s newfound exposure in the United States, the pair took the club on an American tour over the summer. During the tour the team faced off against Chelsea, LA Galaxy, Manchester United and Philadelphia Union.

(MK Dons were the party poopers supreme on Wrexham’s big return to the Football League.)

Unfortunately the Welsh club came back to earth with a bump when they lost heavily 5-3 at home to MK Dons in their opening game of the season. Next up for Wrexham are a visit to Wimbledon and a home tie against Walsall, a far cry from the summer in the sun.

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