Miami (AFP) – Champions League semi-finalists Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Roma and Liverpool plus English powers Manchester City and Manchester United will be among the European giants competing in this year’s International Champions Cup, it was announced Tuesday.
The 18-team, 27-match pre-season competition kicks off less than a week after the conclusion of the World Cup in Russia. Most matches will be played in the United States but others will be staged in Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Italy and Spain.
England’s top six sides — Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs — will take part.
A highlight will be a Champions League quarter-final rematch between Pep Guardiola’s City and Liverpool on July 25 at East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“Manchester City has a great following in the United States with a growing and passionate fan base,” Manchester City chief operating officer Omar Berrada said.
“The team is looking forward to meeting and playing in front of thousands of our US fans for what promises to be a fantastic tour.”
City, who secured the Premier League title at the weekend, will also face Borussia Dortmund on July 20 in Chicago and Bayern Munich on July 28 in Miami.
On the same day, Manchester United will face Liverpool at Ann Arbor, Michigan, where a US-record 109,318 fans watched United play Real Madrid in 2014.
“Once again, we look forward to taking part in the ICC, facing top opposition from different leagues in games which will no doubt be popular with United fans everywhere,” said Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward of the team’s sixth consecutive US pre-season tour.
“The facilities, venues and fixtures will give the manager and team the ideal preparation for the 2018-19 campaign, whilst also giving our fans in the US the chance to watch their team live.”
United’s fixtures also include non-ICC meetings with Mexico’s Club America in Glendale, Arizona, on July 19 and three days later against the MLS San Jose Earthquakes at Santa Clara, California.
United then meet AC Milan at the Rose Bowl near Los Angeles on July 25 ahead of the Liverpool clash and a July 31 meeting with Real Madrid in Miami.
Barcelona, who won the pre-season competition in the United States last year, have a July 28 date at the Rose Bowl against Tottenham.
They will also face Roma — who last week dumped them out of the Champions League quarter-finals — in suburban Dallas on July 31 before playing AC Milan on August 4 at Santa Clara.
Tottenham conclude their US tour against AC Milan on July 31 in Minneapolis.
“We are excited to be going back to the US this summer,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said.
“These fixtures are against top quality sides and will form an important part of our preparations as we look to arrive in the best possible condition for the start of the 2018-19 season.”
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