London (AFP) – Manchester United will return to the United States to begin their preparations for the 2018/19 European season, the English football giants announced Monday.
A two-week tour will start with a match against Mexican side Club America in the Phoenix University Stadium, Arizona, on July 19, with Jose Mourinho’s men facing Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes — a team United great George Best played for — in Santa Clara three days later.
A United statement added details regarding additional warm-up games in the States would be “announced soon”.
“The tour is a central part of the team’s preparation for a long and intense campaign and this is the second consecutive year that we will travel to the US,” said United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
“The club, manager and team always receive a great welcome when visiting America, with our millions of US fans always keen to get closer to Manchester United.”
Since 2010, five visits to the US have seen United welcome more than 1.3 million supporters to games, including over 109,000 fans to see a win over reigning European champions Real Madrid at the ‘Big House’ (the University of Michigan stadium) in Ann Arbor in 2014 –- a record crowd for a football match in the United States.
Manchester United are currently second in the Premier League table but are still a massive 16 points behind leaders Manchester City, with the FA Cup, where they face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals, the only realistic chance Mourinho’s men now have of winning a major trophy this season.
City can clinch the title as soon as Saturday by beating local rivals United at the Etihad Stadium.