Swansea City lost 2-0 to US side Richmond Kickers, but what could Francesco Guidolin and his staff take away from the game?
The hosts got off to a fantastic start, going ahead after Jordi Amat put a low cross from Brian Ownby into his own net 10 minutes into the tie.
Play was suspended three minutes before half time, a thunderstorm meant that play was resumed an hour and a half later. Lightning storms was confirmed and the stands emptied. There was no official half-time break, teams played out the remaining minutes of the first half and went on to play the second straight away.
After 72 minutes the hosts doubled their lead, after Swansea enjoyed a lengthy spell of possession, Anthony Grant broke away on the counter and beat substitute goalkeeper Gerry Tremmel.
Does Ayew’s future lie as a striker?
With three strikers practically out of the door this summer, either a new signing was going to lead the line for Swansea this season, or Andre Ayew would. There have been a few strikers linked with a move to South Wales, but very few seem to have substance. Guidolin has spoken in the past about how he thinks Ayew’s natural position is as a striker, so perhaps that’s where his long-term role lies. He played the first half as a striker and was fairly inneffectual, which is expected seeing as it's his first taste of football since he linked up with his national side over a month ago.
Daniel James looked a bright spark
It took a while for Swansea to get going, despite having constant possession throughout the 90 minutes. Daniel James however was a constant threat on the left flank, taking players on at will, cutting inside when possible and wasn’t afraid to go for goal either. Few Swansea players will be able to hold their head high after that performance, but James is one of them.
Jay Fulton is a perfect fit at Swansea
There’s a certain something about Jay Fulton that suits Swansea perfectly. He’s almost a Leon Britton-lite, if that’s possible. A casual fan won’t notice his game, but he's a player that amazes you when you’re at a game, or if you just take the time from watching it on TV to spend five minutes watching his game. He’s always in control, doesn’t need to make a lot of rash challenges to win the ball back because he’s already in position to break play up. Swansea fans will have grown accustomed to it over the last 10 years watching Britton, and they’ll love Fulton too.
Is Modou Barrow ready to have a breakthrough year?
You could argue that the Gambian had a breakthrough year last season, he did break into the Swansea first team after all. He could really push on this season though. If Ayew is to play as a striker, that leaves a position on the right flank wide open, and it’s either his or Nathan Dyer’s. Modou Barrow showed last season that he has more to his game than just pace, he has a final product, is great in possession and helps out defensively too.
Overall a successful US tour
Swansea won the first fixture against Charlotte Independence fairly comfortably, tonight’s result wasn’t as favourable but there were definitely some good points to take away. Guidolin learnt a lot about some of his younger players, and the squad bonded while on tour. A successful trip by all accounts.