Cudicini lends a hand

Chelsea’s Carlo Cudicini joined hundreds of youngsters at an adidas youth soccer festival in LA on Monday.

The event at Norwalk involved tournaments and coaching clinics throughout the day with Chelsea Foundation coaches, as well as gifts, mementos and competition prizes courtesy of Yokohama.

Cudicini, who was taking time out from being a part of Antonio Conte’s new backroom staff, joined in following the team’s morning training session and was impressed with what he saw at the festival, where he took part in some of the coaching, signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans young and old.

‘Events like this are very important and the number of kids that show up just shows you how big the game is becoming here in America. It’s great to see,’ he said.

The event was one of many during a busy few days for Chelsea Foundation coaches, as international development manager Ian Woodroffe confirmed: ‘This is the third event we’ve done already, having done some coaching clinics with Yokohama and Wipro, some coach education also, and today we are combining all those aspects, bringing everything together.

‘It’s always a good event and brings the community together and celebrates the team being here on tour. It builds into another event tomorrow when some of the players are going to join us and Carlo is fantastic, it’s great to have him here. He understands what Chelsea is all about and he’s been a big hit, as he always is.’

Prior to this event, in Beverly Hills Conte and his staff were busy putting the players through their paces at the UCLA campus, the team’s training base while situated in LA. There will be plenty more to come from them over the coming hours, days and weeks.