The event organizers for the 2014 International Champions Cup today officially announced the teams and dates for this summer’s competition.
As we exclusively revealed last week, the teams competing are Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, AC Milan, Olympiacos, Inter Milan and AS Roma. The clubs will play between July 26-August 4 at venues across the United States — Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Washington DC and Miami. Two additional sites will be announced later in February.
The schedule of games will be officially announced on February 25 when tickets will go on sale for the group games. Tickets for the final in Miami at Sun Life Stadium went on sale today (use promo code FINAL). Tickets to the final will go on sale to the general public on February 6 at 10am ET. The prospect is that you could see Manchester City vs Manchester United, Real Madrid vs AC Milan, Manchester United vs Liverpool or another mouthwatering final depending on how the results go in the group stages.
The format of the tournament will be different this year with clubs separated into two different groups. More details regarding the format will be announced closer to the end of this month when the schedule is revealed.
When Relevant Sports CEO Charlie Stillitano was asked regarding the chances that Manchester United will play in the tournament this summer given the possibility of having to play Europa League qualification matches (if necessary), Stillitano said that there are replacement teams available if needed, but the chances of Manchester United having to play in the Europa League qualification games is only 8%.
In regards to TV coverage, FOX Sports will air two matches live on the over-the-air FOX Network (presumably the final and semi-final, although no official announcement has been made as of yet). All of the other matches will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 in the US. As for the rest of the world, the tournament will be shown on television in 150+ countries around the world.
Many of the clubs that will be playing this summer had team ambassadors who were in attendance today in Miami for the official announcement regarding the 2014 International Champions Cup. They included Ruud Gullit, Hristo Stoichov, Paul Scholes, Bruno Conti, Emilio Butragueno, Daniele Massaro and Pierre Issa.
“The most important thing from Liverpool’s point of view is that we have 21 million supporters in the USA, and they don’t get a chance to go to Liverpool, so we’re bringing the club to them,” said Liverpool FC Team Ambassador Ian Rush, who spoke exclusively to World Soccer Talk. “We see ourselves as a family club. We’re trying to leave a lasting legacy by going into the local communities.”