Jourden relishing clash of champions
Montpellier keeper Geoffrey Jourdren is desperate to start this season as he finished the last - with his hands on a trophy. The reigning Ligue 1 champions will walk out tomorrow evening in the unlikely surroundings of New York's Red Bull Arena, where they will take on Coupe de France winners Lyon with the Trophee des Champions on the line.
And Jourdren told the club's official website: "We have built to a crescendo in our pre-season preparation. Saturday will be the grand finale with this big match that awaits us against Lyon.
"We want to start the season with a trophy. It would be a new and historic thing for us to win this trophy. But against us, we have Lyon and all of their titles as champions of France - a big club. We will have to fight, like always."
The traditional season curtain-raiser was first contested overseas in 2009, an initially controversial move which the league authorities are content has now won over fans. Stephane Dor, marketing director for the Ligue de Football Professionel, told Lyon's website: "It is our fourth Trophee des Champions overseas, so it works.
"We had to convince the sceptics but today, the only question anyone asks us is where we will be playing the next edition. This is the first time we have held the competition in a non French-speaking country. This year, in New York, we go one step further."
Jourdren is relishing the pre-season trip, which has already brought a 3-0 win over Sporting Kansas City, and said: "It has been a different atmosphere, in a big country like the United States.
"We have played in great stadiums in Kansas City and here at the Red Bull Arena, and the Americans have been really nice, which you would not necessarily have imagined before we came here. All we need now is a win on Saturday and it will be perfect!"