From England to Philly: Premier League draws 105,000+ fans as it kicks off summer series at the Linc

The Philadelphia Eagles stadium was home to a different type of football this weekend.

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Two fans pose for a picture at the Premier League Summer Series event at Lincoln Financial Field

Fans got to witness some of England's finest players from the Premier League in Philadelphia this weekend. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Soccer teams from the Premier League in England hopped across the pond this weekend to showcase their prowess in America’s first-ever Premier League Summer Series.

Philadelphia was the series’ first U.S. host city, with 105,360 fans filling up Lincoln Financial Field over the course of two days.

“I’ve met people from Australia, from England, from like Indiana, and California,” T.J. Fogarty, a supporter of Fulham FC, said while standing outside the stadium Sunday afternoon. “It’s just incredible being surrounded by people who share the same love for the club as you do.”

outside the Premier League Summer Series event at Lincoln Financial Field
Fulham supporter T.J. Fogarty got to hang out with Billy Badger ahead of the Sunday doubleheader at Lincoln Financial Field. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

When Fogarty returned to Philly after spending part of childhood in England, he was shocked by the league’s level of American support.

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The summer series gives many of those supporters the opportunity to see their favorite clubs in person for the first time.

Colin Passey stands in front of a custom banner outside the Premier League Summer Series event at Lincoln Financial Field
Colin Passey on Sunday fondly recalled his relationship with father and their shared love of Brentford. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Colin Passey grew up in Brentford, West London, where his favorite club, Brentford FC, is based but moved to New Jersey later in life. He reminisced on the connection he and his late father had through the club.

“My dad passed away three months before Brentford got up to the Premier League, so he never saw them get to the Premier League,” Passey said. “It’ll be pretty emotional today for my family to see Brentford playing, almost like he orchestrated it so that the first game they’re playing is in Philadelphia because we’re literally across the bridge.”

Brentford fell to Fulham 3-2 in the first match of Sunday’s double-header.  On Saturday, Chelsea beat Brighton 4-3. Following the win, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino called his time in Philadelphia “amazing.”

“The fans are unbelievable. Yes, I love to play here in [the] U.S.A.,” Pochettino said. And for the players, it’s been a treat to play in the City of Brotherly Love.”

A closeup of USMNT and Fulham defender Tim Ream at a press conference
USMNT and Fulham defender Tim Ream says the game of soccer has grown “leaps and bounds” in the U.S. since he began playing in England. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Tim Ream, a Fulham defender and a U.S. Men’s National Team member, was born in St. Louis, but has lived in England for more than a decade.

“To come to these types of places, these cities, play good competition and … drive down the street and see all of the kids … kicking a football around and seeing the level of excitement,” he said, “it’s exciting to be back.”

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Aston Villa and Newcastle United closed out the Sunday doubleheader, with neither side pulling away, ending in a 3-3 draw.

The summer series will continue Wednesday, July 26 in Atlanta and Orlando before coming back east. Matches will take place in Harrison, New Jersey on Friday, July 28, and in Landover, Maryland on Sunday, July 30, respectively. The Premier League kicks off on August 11.

In 2026, Philadelphia will be one of 16 North American cities to host matches for the FIFA World Cup.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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