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The Toffees skipper is delighted with his side’s pre-season tour this summer of the USA, where they lost 1-0 to Philadelphia Union in their latest match on Wednesday

Everton defender Phil Neville says facing MLS teams in pre-season is the best preparation ahead of a new campaign.

The Toffees are currently away on a tour of America, and lost 1-0 on Wednesday to Philadelphia Union.

Last season, Everton travelled to Australia to take on Sydney FC, Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar, but Neville says he prefers tours of the USA because of the improvement MLS sides have made.

“I think an American tour taking on MLS [teams] is the best pre-season tour you can go on," said Neville.

“Each summer MLS has improved. I’ve been coming here for seven or eight years now, and the guys now feel they can play against a European team. They didn’t seem to feel that way back then.”

Neville returned to Philadelphia for the first time in nearly a decade since he last played there with Manchester United, and spoke glowingly of the city’s atmosphere and the fans' support for their team.

“Having played in Salt Lake twice, New York, Houston, and other cities, I felt like Philadelphia was more like a European atmosphere than any other city," he said. "Tonight’s fans and the game were more about the football.”

Everton manager David Moyes added: “We didn’t play that well. I thought we had a good 20 minutes in the second half, but under those circumstances, I have no complaints.”