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Ernesto Valverde and Fran Sánchez's teams pose with the Barça directors at Ronaldo Field at Nike's HQ in Oregon in the US

Ernesto Valverde and Fran Sánchez's teams pose with the Barça directors at Ronaldo Field at Nike's HQ in Oregon in the US | GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

The FC Barcelona players on the 2018 US Tour sponsored by Rakuten have begun work Stateside, following a more than 12-hour journey from Barcelona to Portland. The teams coached by Ernesto Valverde and Fran Sánchez kicked off their training at the Nike facilities in Beaverton (Oregon), where they will stay for two days before moving on to Los Angeles.

Before starting their preparations, players from both FC Barcelona and Barça Women posed for a landmark photo together, marking the first joint tour in the Club’s history. The teams will be alongside one another from the 24 to 26 July in Portland, and from the 27 to 29 July in Los Angeles.

As well as two days of training in Beaverton, there will also be several commercial acts and activities. When in Los Angeles, the first games will be played: The first team will take on Tottenham (Saturday 28 at 8:05pm local time) in the International Champions Cup (ICC), whilst the Barça Women side will play SoCal FC from the Women’s Premier Soccer League (Saturday 28 at 10.00am local time). The latter can be watched live on a stream from the official club channels.

After their stay in California, the women’s team will return to Barcelona to continue their preseason, whilst the men’s team will visit the US cities of Dallas and San Francisco to take on AS Roma and AC Milan, respectively, in the competition organised by Relevent Sport.

The club will use their stay Stateside to show their global commercial and brand strategy in a strategic market, as well as demonstrating the social commitment that forms part of the Barça identity and is developed through the Barça Foundation.

Barça Women form part of a firm commitment

The presence of the women’s team on the U.S. Tour fits with the club’s strategic commitment to women’s sport. The team was given professional status in 2015, and there has been a boom in women’s football in the USA.

During the tour, the club will continue moving forward with the development plan for women’s football in the United States, which includes the formation of the National Women Soccer League (NWSL). FC Barcelona will take a very important step forward in their strategy of consolidating their role as a global brand and, at the same time, strengthening and illustrating their commitment to women’s football.

FC Barcelona will become the first European club to have a team in the North American women’s football league, and their presence will help the competition and acknowledgement of Barça grow yet more in the USA.

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