WHEN Liverpool take to the field to face Celtic in the first game of their American odyssey, they'll find that trail has already been blazed by one of the club's greatest ever servants.
Steve 'Chico' Nicol has been living and working in the USA for five years with his wife Eleanor, his son, Michael, and his daughter, Katy, first as the assistant coach of the Boston Bulldogs and then as head coach of the New England Revolution since 2002.
The 42-year-old Scot has enjoyed considerable success across the pond, being named MLS coach of the year in 2002, and he is looking forward to seeing his old team in action in the flesh.
"I definitely plan to see them in New York and I am looking forward to it," he said.. "I am still in touch with people at the club every now and again to get a bit of gossip and see what is going on.
"We have Premiership games on every Saturday on pay-per-view and I have watched Liverpool quite a lot. It has not been the best of seasons for them, but they've changed coaches now, so I'm eager to see what impact Benitez will have."
Nicol is in a good position to comment on Liverpool managers, having played under five of them during his 12 years with the club after signing for £300,000 from Ayr United in 1981 - Bob Paisley,, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Roy Evans.
In that time he made 437 appearances with 17 from the bench, scoring 45 goals as he played across the back four and in midfield.
His versatility, work-rate and extreme consistency helped him become a mainstay of the side, claiming a European Cup, four League Championships, three FA Cups, and 27 Scotland caps along the way before he left for Notts County in 1995.
Unsurprisingly he looks back on his Liverpool career with affection.
"The whole experience was magic for me," he recalled.. "From the day I signed it was just a brilliant place to be and if I see something on television or in the newspapers, it does get me thinking about those days.
"Spending time at Liverpool with the managers I played under has played a huge part in how I am as a manager and how I coach my team. Everything I know is by listening to managers and players too. Sometimes things come out that I didn't even realise were there."