Fran Koerner, Jr. of the Charm City Reds (Baltimore) shares with us why this may be a great summer for United supporters on the Eastern seaboard.
Manchester United is rumored to be taking part in this year’s International Champions Cup. While Relevant Sports, the tournament organizer, has yet to officially announce this summer’s teams and venues, the 2014 defending cup champions look set to defend their preseason tournament title during a trip back to the United States.
A mid-July tour of Australia has already been announced with Champions League winners Real Madrid, Manchester City and Roma forming a three-team round robin. This will be the first time that the International Champions Cup will have separate tours in separate countries.
The American tour is expected to field eight teams, including defending champions Manchester United. Reports out of Spain have Barcelona, Chelsea and Juventus as the favorites to join the tour, with additional sides from the Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, and Italy’s Serie A filling up the remaining slots.
This could be United’s fifth trip to the United States in the last 12 years. They had previous back-to-back tours visits in 2003 and 2004, 2010 and 2011 and then again this past year. Last year’s stops were in Los Angeles, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Ann Arbor, with a final match in Miami.
However, the distance between the different cities, hotels, training grounds, and stadiums during Tour 2014 proved to be too much for Louis Van Gaal’s liking. He is reportedly clashing with the Manchester United board over the preseason itinerary. The Dutchman wishes to establish a centralized training base and and cut down on travel which saw the team covered over 9,000 miles last preseason. Given these parameters, Chicago, Dallas and New York as three likely venues to host matches this summer.
During Tour 2014, Manchester United reportedly earned over £12 million pounds ($18 million USD). It’s not hard to see why an American or Far East itinerary would result in a financial windfall for a club needing to recoup some of the revenue lost as a result of being out of the Champions League this season. A trip that will last a mere three weeks has the potential to brings in millions of dollars and attract potential new investors and sponsors for the club.
Relevant Sports is expected to announce the American portion of the International Champions Cup shortly as both teams and venues are currently being negotiated. We hope to see Manchester United in the States in just a few months.
Fran Koerner, Jr. is a Baltimore-born Manchester United supporter. He is the Social Media Director and a proud member of the Charm City Reds who is still learning to deal with the post-Fergie era. You can follow him on Twitter @FKoerner43 or @CharmCityReds