Manchester United Officially Named As 2011 MLS All-Star Game Opponent

Major League Soccer today officially announced that Manchester United will be the opponent in the 2011 MLS All-Star game to be played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey on July 27 at 8:30pm ET.

As EPL Talk exclusively revealed a few weeks ago, Manchester United will conduct a five-match tour of the United States this summer. In addition to the MLS All-Star Game in New Jersey (July 27), Manchester United will play New England Revolution (July 13; Gillette Stadium), Seattle Sounders (July 20; Qwest Field), Chicago Fire (July 23; Soldier Field) and Barcelona (July 30; FedEx Field). An official announcement by Manchester United is expected tomorrow. Stay tuned to EPL Talk for complete details including ticket news.

The 2011 MLS All-Star Game will be a rematch of the 2010 MLS All-Star Game when Manchester United won 5-2 in Houston. It’ll be the eighth time that a MLS All-Star team has played against an international opponent. New York Red Bulls members (i.e. registered fans) will be given first priority to purchase tickets before being made available to the general public. Ticket details can be found here. The game will be televised live on ESPN and TeleFutura.

What are your thoughts about Manchester United being selected as the opponent for the 2011 MLS All-Star Game? Do you think the game should have been played at the New Meadowlands Stadium instead, to allow more fans to be able to see the game in person instead of at the Red Bull Arena which has a capacity of 25,000? Post your opinions in the comments section below.

37 thoughts on “Manchester United Officially Named As 2011 MLS All-Star Game Opponent”

  1. Red Bull Arena is a MLS arena, and has a proper pitch. If you watched the USA V Argentina match this past weekend you’ll agree that the New Meadowlands is no place for soccer if they keep rolling out that temp pitch.

    1. I agree as someone who goes to Red Bulls games the pitch and overall experience will be better there but in the Meadowlands defense we had horrid weather leading up to it including several inches of snow, sleet, hail and freezing rain in the days leading up to the match a mere week after having temps in the 70s.

      It’s why there was so much patch work on the pitch.

      Red Bull Arena is more closed off and isn’t as exposed to the elements as Meadowlands are. Plus they are in season now.

      1. I live in Jersey and take the train past Red Bull Arena every day. No need to explain the weather. The bigger issue with New Meadowlands is that American football plays on that soft turf stuff. Bradley refuses to play on anything but grass. So while the turf is brought in squares that link up. The grass is rolled out, leaving gaps and loose spots. So another factor in the MLS playing in New Meadowlands would be removing the Jets/Giants field for a soccer pitch… or they could just play on the soft turf. Sir Alex wouldn’t mind a year ending injury from a turf injury, would he 😉

        Lets face it… Our Soccer only stadia are on the smaller scale. But not THAT small. Outside of the big stadiums. 25 to 41,000 is a big stadium in England. Red Bull Arena is just in that standard.

  2. No way this stays at Red Bulls Arena. They sold out Reliant Stadium last year, there’s money to be made if they move to a bigger venue.

    1. I’d be very surprised if they move this game. They’re doing a press conference tomorrow at Red Bull Arena with the world’s press to get a VIP tour of the facility as well as to conduct the press conference there. They could sell out Red Bull Arena several times over. But for whatever reason, MLS is deciding to stick to its guns and play at Red Bull Arena presumably to showcase the stadium to the world.

      The Gaffer

    2. “No way this stays at Red Bulls Arena. They sold out Reliant Stadium last year, there’s money to be made if they move to a bigger venue.”

      This doesn’t make much sense. It’s not like they don’t already know that — they’re not going to have to wait until May or June to figure that out. If they’ve chosen Red Bull Arena, they’ve chosen it. They already know all the pros and cons.

  3. “Do you think the game should have been played at the New Meadowlands Stadium instead, to allow more fans to be able to see the game in person instead of at the Red Bull Arena which has a capacity of 25,000?”

    The answer is a very stern NO. Red Bull Arena hardly ever sells out and the most it’s been to even looking like a capacity crowd was the season opener against Chicago Fire in 2010 (and the Santos match prior to that) and the LA Galaxy match in August of 2010, and that was WITHOUT Beckham. It’s not a knock on my fellow RB fans and our followers in general, but I would love to see the Cathedral filled to capacity. A place of its caliber, considering it’s in America and not Europe, deserves it.

    Get your tickets as soon you can.

  4. Will Manchester United fans cry about any banter or chants like at the Philly match? :)

    I like the idea of showcasing the soccer-specific stadium for this game. Get 25k, supporters in there and you’ve got a crazy atmosphere. Put it in a huge stadium with 60k and it starts to get watered down as far as the passion.

    As I alluded to at first, I just hope that MLS fans come out to cheer on their all-stars and we don’t see just as many (or more) United supporters in the crowd.

    1. Well from what some people said up top the MLS fans are going to use the Manc fans to pay for there season tickets lol, so you’ll probably see more Manc supporters than MLS supporters.

      1. “there arent enough quality players in MLS to get 2 highly competative teams together to play that kind of match”

        Lolwut? MLS teams play each other week in and week out. Why would it suddenly be impossible to have a game featuring two makeshift MLS teams, made up of various players from the league?

  5. Why can’t they ever play in Los Angeles! or anywhere else in California for that matter…im sure the Mexico fans would love to see Chicharito and co. do some damage against the Galaxy…plus it would be great to see Becks in action against his old club!

    1. Manchester United is at best the 6th option for international soccer entities in the Los Angeles market, behind the following 5 entities:

      1. The Mexican National Team
      2. Chivas Guadalajara
      3. Club America (Mexico)
      4. Barcelona
      5. Real Madrid

      There is no reason for Manchester United to visit Los Angeles when there are more lucrative markets available in the U.S. where Manchester United is among the top 3 international soccer brands.

  6. Does anyone else keep hearing the same annoying Lucas interview start every time they go to a new page on EPL talk? Why does it have to auto-start?

    1. I just noticed it today too. It plays after about 30 seconds. Let me contact the video company to see what’s up so this can be stopped. Thanks for pointing it out.

      The Gaffer

  7. The point of having the game at Red Bull Arena is for the league to showcase one of its own facilities and reward the hosting team and city for the forethought of building a top notch facility.

    You could hold the game elsewhere – but what’s the reward for building a soccer specific stadium in a city if one of the league’s two marquee events goes to a NFL stadium?

  8. The all star game is a joke… It’s the MLS all star against the Man U third string and/or bench warmers (if we’re lucky). Shocks me that people take this seriously.

    1. It’s against the Man Utd benchwarmers but they will still beat the best the MLS has to offer, and that’s the point. You don’t get better unless you play superior opposition, so it’s a good measure of where the MLS stands. But of course, the bigger reason is PR. United increase awareness and their fan base amongst Americans and Americans are exposed to high quality football (trust me, even the United second string produce something special); hopefully getting them to tune into the sport more often. It’s the biggest potential market for football (soccer) anyway.

      1. The best “the best MLS has to offer” but lost against a midtable MLS team (KC Wizards) who were a team that actually played together for more than one day.. fancy that

  9. On a wider issue, I am surprised that United have chosen to tour the US for a second consecutive summer. In previous tours, United have opted to visit the States or South Africa only after a summer of International tournaments; fully in the knowledge that the star players will not make the trip (but what the heck, they will still sell out most stadiums on these continents).

    What is surprising is that this summer there will be no internationals and the big-name stars will inevitably make the tour; so why have they avoided a tour of the Far East? Gill and the Glazers are (for all their critics) accomplished profit-makers and will have weighed up all the pro’s and cons of not travelling to Asia, but I would love to know the real reason why the States have been selected again.

    Do not be surprised to finally see MUFC sign a telecoms agreement with an American company alongside other major sponsorship deals. I highlight the telecom deal as the US appears to be the only part of the world yet to have signed up with the club for exclusive media content, and these agreements have significantly boosted the clubs profits since 2007.

    1. Aon is an American based multinational company. Nike is an American based company. Those are Man U’s two biggest sponsors and who they get the most money from…still wondering why they tour America?

      Also the US is really the only market they haven’t as strong a hold in because of Barca and Real’s hold our large soccer loving Hispanic community. Wonder if Chicarito will play int hose games?

      1. The most popular clubs in the U.S. Hispanic community are Chivas Guadalajara and Club America.

        Supporters of both clubs outnumber supporters of Real Madrid and Barcelona by a factor of 10 to 1.

        Unless you live in Southern California (there are over 8 million Mexicans living within 50 miles of downtown Los Angeles, which means there are more Mexicans living in the Los Angeles area than in metropolitian Guadalajara,) you often forget about the dominance of the two Mexican clubs in the U.S. market.

        1. Like many of us we have a European team we follow and a local one. So while in one aspect you are correct you also miss the mark. Real and Barca are HUGE draws in Latin America. Also there is the gawker factor of not being a fan but wanting to see them. The Yankees are the highest away draws from all mlb team not always because of away fans but people that want to see their team play “the best”. Popularity is necessarily defined by fandom. Who would you go see in a game even as a neutral? Villareal or Real Madrid if given the choice?

    2. The problem: Man Utd doesn’t have much timely multimedia rights to sell to a U.S. telecom firm.

      NewsCorp (FOX) and ESPN, Inc. have locked up timely mutimedia rights to most matches involving Man Utd.

      The only rights Man Utd control are those that end up with MUTV, i.e. 48-hour delay rights.

  10. I am fully aware of who United’s sponsors are Dave, but in terms of merchandise sales and match-viewing figures Asia leads by a country mile. The Nike and Aon deals are in the bag, summer tours normally result in more agreements popping up. During every tour, new multi-million pound/dollar sponsors crop up, but in terms of accessing the clubs fanbase nothing compares to a pre-season in Asia.

    If you look at the current list of sponsors, United have agreements on every continent with telecoms partners save for the US. I suspect that this is the big reason for travelling to the States this year; to secure such an agreement. So long as the tour increases the clubs profits, it will be a trip very much worthwhile.

    Does anyone know whether United are planning to launch a new home jersey for 2011-2012 season? Do not be surprised to see another kit launch at Aon’s Chicago HQ before the match at Soldier Field

  11. This seasons kit was absolutely spot on – Nike appear to be keen to just manufacture as many United kits as possible before the agreement ends in 2015. It will be a very interesting bidding war between Adidas and Nike for the rights when they come up in 4 years time, the Galzer’s will bleed both sides dry!

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