The summer of 2024 brings loads of clubs to the USA to compete in summer friendlies, something American fans will surely welcome. That includes the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Manchester City, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Arsenal and more. Many of these clubs have made frequent trips to the United States in recent seasons. Others are making a long-awaited return to the USA, like Celtic which has not been to the United States in over a decade.

Yet, some of these games stand out among the rest. Historic derbies, star-studded matchups and some big-name teams in interesting venues make for an exciting summer of soccer in the USA. It helps that these summer friendlies in the USA come after the Copa America, which brings some of the best national teams to the United States.

Here are five friendlies that stand out based on the current schedule of summer friendlies in the USA.

Best summer friendlies in the USA in 2024

Manchester City vs Milan – July 27, time TBD – New York, NY

Manchester City remains in contention to win a treble of trophies for the second straight season. That would be an unprecedented feat among European clubs. Therefore, Americans will want to see Manchester City as it is inarguably one of the best teams in the world. This game is the second of its return to the United States after spending the summer of 2023 in South Korea and Japan.

City’s rival in this game, AC Milan, has also shown great success of late. Yet, much of the draw for American supporters remains Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah. The two USMNT players have been integral to AC Milan’s season in 2023/24. Consequently, there is an added reason for Americans to support their own in this game.

Manchester City vs Barcelona – July 30, time TBD – Orlando, FL

Keeping the theme with Manchester City, Pep Guardiola’s side will go south after playing in New York City. Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL, is hosting a game between City and Spanish side Barcelona. These two have plenty of connections. For example, Pep Guardiola broke through in the coaching ranks at Barcelona. Certain players like Joao Cancelo and Ilkay Gundogan had great success at Manchester City before joining Barcelona.

In terms of club friendlies, this is the only one in Florida throughout the summer.

Arsenal vs Liverpool – July 31, 7 p.m. – Philadelphia, PA 

As of the March international break, these two Premier League sides are level on 64 points. Each has had success in Europe, too. Liverpool is in the quarterfinals of the Europa League, and it is the favorite to win that competition. Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal has shown consistent development to earn a place in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in a decade. Moreover, their meetings in the Premier League have been exciting. For example, Arsenal held on for a draw at Anfield before defeating Liverpool at the Emirates.

When the two play at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, the two clubs with a massive following should play another exciting game. Also, this will be a chance for fans to see a Liverpool side under new management. Jurgen Klopp is leaving the Reds after this season. With Xabi Alonso among the candidates to replace the German, Arsenal will be a major early test.

Man United vs Liverpool – August 3, 7:30 PM – Columbia, SC

After Liverpool plays Arsenal, it will travel south to Columbia, SC, to play Manchester United. This historic rivalry possesses two of the most popular clubs in the United States, and it is the first soccer game at Williams-Brice Stadium. Traditionally, this venue hosts college football games, but it is certainly big enough to house the fans of both clubs.

Games involving these two English sides of late have been a mixed bag. For example, some of them are great. The recent FA Cup quarterfinal tie needed extra time as United won a classic game, 4-3. Yet, just a season ago, Liverpool put seven past Manchester United at Anfield in a Premier League game. Even if it is just a friendly, the disdain between the two clubs will make this a great watch even for neutrals.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona – August 3, time TBD – East Rutherford, NJ

Barcelona and Real Madrid are making El Clasico in the United States a common occurrence. Their game at MetLife Stadium this summer is the fourth edition in the United States. This is the third summer in a row these two teams will play. In the past, that featured stops in Miami, Las Vegas and Arlington, TX. Now, El Clasico goes to the northeast on the outskirts of New York City.

Much like Liverpool, Barcelona will be under new management next year. Xavi said that he would step down from his position as the club’s manager. Therefore, the new manager may get their first taste of this historic derby on American soil. Barcelona has dominated friendly fixtures in the United States involving these two teams. The Catalan club has won each of the previous three. Two of those were one-goal games, though. Fans looking for tickets to this game in 2024 will hope for the same.

Photos: Imago