78 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

Manchester clubs join Barca, Real, Juve, PSG, Roma and Spurs for US extravaganza

By Paul Nicholson

March 22 – The US is set to become the land of Europe’s giant clubs at the end of July in a pre-season football extravaganza that conceivably could feature at least three of Europe’s Big 5 league champions.

Barcelona and Real Madrid, already scheduled to take the El Clasico experience to Miami, are now joined by both Manchester clubs who will play a derby match, as well as Juventus, Paris St German, Roma and Tottenham Hotspur.

Playing in the ad hoc International Champions Cup (ICC) from July 19 to 29, the pre-season tournament will clash directly with CONCACAF’s blue riband Gold Cup national team tournament which kicks off on July 7 but reaches quarter final stages in July 19 with its final on July 29 in Santa Clara, California.

The ICC will play 12 fixtures on eight match days between July 19 to July 30 at nine venues on both the East and West coasts. On July 29 the ICC will play Man City vs Spurs in Nashville, and Barca vs Real Madrid in Miami – both fixtures broadcast on ESPN.

Football fans will then have to switch channels to CONCACAF’s broadcast partner Fox to watch the final of the Gold Cup from Santa Clara. There is no doubt the ICC scheduling is presenting a major commercial challenge to CONCACAF in the US commercial marketplace, and for the attention of football’s fan base.

CONCACAF will be desperately hoping for a US vs Mexico final to compete for attention against such heavy hitting opposition.

This is the fifth edition of the ICC competition that this year is ‘presented by Heineken’. Versions of the ad-hoc friendly competition promoted by founders Relevant Sports are also being played in China and Singapore, featuring the rest of the A list of Europe’s top clubs, including Bayern Munich, Chelsea and both AC and Inter Milan.

“This year’s International Champions Cup will feature two of the most iconic derbies in sports: El Clásico and the Manchester Derby,” said Charlie Stillitano, chairman of Relevent Sports. “The lineup of teams participating in this year’s tournament is world-class from top to bottom, highlighted by current champions of three top domestic leagues as well as the reigning Champions League titleholder. Hosting this caliber of soccer competition in the U.S. is only feasible through the ICC, where these teams can compete in a highly competitive tournament in preparation for their upcoming domestic campaign.”

The ICC has Ally, Nike, Orlando, Chevrolet, AON, Groupon, VividSeats, Gatorade and Xyience as sponsors and says it will announce more shortly.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1539903959labto1539903959ofdlr1539903959owedi1539903959sni@n1539903959osloh1539903959cin.l1539903959uap1539903959

ICC host venues:
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Los Angeles, CA
  • Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA
  • FedExField; Washington, D.C.
  • Hard Rock Stadium; Miami, FL
  • Camping World Stadium; Orlando, FL
  • Gillette Stadium; Boston, MA
  • MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ
  • Red Bull Arena; Harrison, NJ
  • Nissan Stadium; Nashville, TN
ICC schedule
  • July 19AS Roma vs. Paris Saint-Germain F.C. – Venue & Time TBA
  • July 20Manchester United F.C. vs. Manchester City F.C. – Venue & Time TBA
  • July 22Juventus F.C. vs. FC Barcelona – MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, New Jersey.
  • Paris Saint-Germain F.C. vs. Tottenham Hotspur F.C. – Camping World Stadium; Orlando, Florida.
  • July 23 Real Madrid C.F. vs. Manchester United F.C. – Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, California.
  • July 25Tottenham Hotspur F.C. vs. AS Roma – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey.
  • July 26
    • FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United F.C. – FedExField; Landover, Maryland.
    • Paris Saint-Germain F.C. vs. Juventus F.C. – Hard Rock Stadium; Miami, Florida.
    • Manchester City F.C. vs. Real Madrid C.F. – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Los Angeles, California.
  • July 29
    • Manchester City F.C. vs. Tottenham Hotspur F.C. – Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tennessee.
    • Real Madrid C.F. vs. FC Barcelona – Hard Rock Stadium; Miami, Florida.
  • July 30
    • AS Roma vs. Juventus F.C. – Gillette Stadium; Boston, Massachusetts.