With so much attention focused on European soccer teams coming to the United States this summer, it’s important to note that the International Champions Cup returns to the five boroughs of New York in July when Olympiakos takes the field against AC Milan, where Citi Field turns its baseball diamond into a pitch for what has become an annual tradition of soccer at the stadium.
Since 2011, when the Greek national team played Ecuador in front of a nearly sold-out crowd, the home of the New York Mets has hosted a match each year, including Ecuador v Chile in 2012, and last year’s matchup between Israel and Honduras.
It has been 27 years since the Greek league champions have played in the United States, and playing at Citi Field offers the team an opportunity to face rival AC Milan, and to reconnect with a community of supporters in New York.
“It is with great pleasure that the administration, technical leadership and we the players of Olympiacos, await the match against A.C. Milan,” said Olympiakos defender and team captain Avraam Papadopoulos. Olympiakos venture into New York is an effort to brand itself with a large contingent of diaspora Greeks. Astoria, Queens, boasts the largest Greek population living outside of Greece in the world. “We are delighted to be playing against a historic rival in front of thousands of fans, most of which will be Greek expatriates,” continued the Australian born Papadopoulos. “We promise to honor their turnout and offer a beautiful spectacle to all of those who really love football!”
AC Milan is also offered the opportunity to connect with fans. The team competed in the International Champions Cup last year, playing against Chelsea at MetLife Arena, but this game will be played in a borough that is home to one of the largest Italian-American communities in New York City.
Tickets are now available for the July 25th match, with a kick-off time of 8PM, and can be purchased through the International Champions Cup at www.internationalchampionscup.com