On Monday, Crystal Palace touched down more than 3,000 miles from its Selhurst Park home in the London suburbs. Its first stop: Talen Energy Stadium in Chester.
Kicking off a North American preseason tour, the English Premier League team, which was founded in 1905, is set to take on the Union in an international friendly on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The rest of its tour is to include a game against FC Cincinnati on Saturday and a matchup with the Vancouver Whitecaps next Tuesday.
While the games mean little to its MLS and USL opponents, which are in the middle of their seasons, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew anticipates a challenging week.
When his Newcastle United team played in the United States three years ago, he said he faced stiff competition.
"I expect the same here, very difficult games, and if we win one, maybe two of them, I'll be extremely happy," Pardew said in a recent Palace TV interview. "I don't expect to win all three."
The Union played Crystal Palace just once before, in 2014. They lost that game, 1-0, with the lone score coming on an Ethan White own goal. While the Union certainly hope for a different outcome this time around, they remain most focused on MLS opponents, including the New York Red Bulls, their opponent on Sunday.
On Tuesday morning, the Union and Crystal Palace will both train at Talen. Crystal Palace has opened the session to pre-registered fans who want to see the English team up close on U.S turf.
"We've taken this opportunity to go to America to spread the word of the type of football we play," Pardew said in a statement. "Our fan base continues to grow in America, and this is a perfect opportunity to reach out to those fans as well as introduce ourselves to many more new fans stateside."
Crystal Palace's roster includes stars such as goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and midfielders Yohan Cabaye, Joe Ledley and Jonny Williams. However, those players have been busy competing in the Euro Cup, so the travel squad instead has more players from the developmental team. Two of Pardew's recent signings, defender James Tomkins and winger Andros Townsend, will also be on the road.
Pardew called Tomkins, who was acquired from West Ham United, a gritty yet "technical talent, a good passer of the ball" and described Townsend, from Newcastle United, as a player who "speaks for himself."
Townsend set a Crystal Palace record when he signed with the club for nearly $17 million earlier this month.
Even though it is a preseason game for it, Crystal Palace could still prove a formidable opponent. The team went to the FA Cup Final in May and lost to Manchester United, 2-1.
"It is a team from England that is at as good a level as you can get," Union forward Fabian Herbers said Monday. "It is good to measure yourself with the best."