Manchester rivals set to meet in USA preseason tournament

Date published: Wednesday 22nd March 2017 8:09

Manchester Derby: Set for America

Manchester United will play Manchester City as part of the 2017 International Champions Cup in the United States, while also taking on Real Madrid and Barcelona, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Premier League sides were scheduled to meet in Beijing during last summer’s tour to the Far East, but that match was postponed just hours before kick-off because of concerns over the state of the National Stadium pitch following torrential rain.

City will also take on Tottenham as part of the American section of the 2017 ICC, playing at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on July 29.

The venue for what will be the first Manchester derby played overseas has yet to be announced.

However, the game on July 20 was included among the fixtures released by ICC organisers at Tuesday’s launch event from New York.

Barcelona and Real Madrid had already been confirmed to meet in El Clasico Miami on July 29 at Hard Rock Stadium.

United will play both of the LaLiga giants during their summer tour of North America, with ICC matches set for July 23 against Real Madrid at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and three days later against Barcelona at FedEx Field in Washington DC.

City, meanwhile, are set to tackle Real Madrid at the Los Angeles Colosseum on July 26.

Tottenham will also meet Paris St Germain in Orlando on July 22 with another game against Italian side Roma in New Jersey three days later ahead of the clash with City.

Spurs travelled to Australia last summer for ICC matches against Juventus and Atletico Madrid in Melbourne.

In total, United have confirmed five matches in the United States, with the tour set to kick-off against Major League Soccer sides the Los Angeles Galaxy, at StubHub Centre on July 15, and Real Salt Lake, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah on July 17.

 

Fixture congestion?

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Playing so many pre-season friendlies crammed into such a short time frame and with the travelling involved may raise eyebrows, given recent complaints about fixture congestion from United boss Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese coach claimed United must have ”lots of enemies” because of the intensity of the schedule they have now been burdened with as a result of prolonged progress in the EFL Cup and Europa League this season.

Mourinho’s predecessor Louis van Gaal was critical of the club’s summer schedule in 2014, when they also visited the USA. As a result, United’s tour the following summer was shorter.

Speaking of United’s summer plans for 2017, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, said: “Tours are vital for the team’s preparations for the season ahead and we are facing top-class opposition in world-class stadiums, ensuring it is the ideal environment for the manager and team to prepare.

“Everybody is excited for the tour and it gives us the opportunity to play in front of some of the millions of Manchester United supporters which we have across the USA.”

City boss Pep Guardiola believes the ICC will offer ideal preparation for the 2017/2018 campaign.

“The International Champions Cup is a fantastic tournament, and we are delighted to be invited to compete in it once again. We have some great games lined up in some amazing stadiums,” the City boss said in a statement on the club’s website.

“The Real Madrid game will be an incredible occasion in Los Angeles, and we know all about the strength of our English opponents Tottenham, for the game in Nashville, and it will be amazing for the fans to see the passion of a Manchester derby in the States.”

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