May 20, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT
The Chelsea side that left London for its quick two-game tour of the United States came up one star short – a fairly big one.
Stately center back John Terry will go on vacation early, recovering from an ankle injury while the rest of the team spends a week across the Atlantic.
Thus, Frank Lampard, who was scratched from the LA Galaxy’s list of potential DP summer arrivals last week when he signed a new one-year deal with the Blues, will act as the Europa League champions’ captain in the United States. Chelsea plays in St. Louis on Thursday and again over the Memorial Day weekend at Yankee Stadium, both times against Manchester City.
Here is the entire 23-man travel squad for the two matches that will make the end of the Rafa Benitez era at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho is en route for his second go-round with the West London club – one of worst kept secrets in the history of badly kept secrets.
Chelsea’s travel squad has plenty of star appeal, even with Terry.
Most of Benitez’s first-choice men are on the roster, including Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, John Mikel Obi, Ramires, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres.
Even Eden Hazard, the young Belgian that made such an impression in his first season at Stamford Bridge, has recovered sufficiently from a recent injury to make the trip.
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