Joe Hart and Manchester City appear to be headed back to the Big Apple.
Per the Manchester City club website: "City will compete for the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup in the United States this summer. It will be the club’s third visit to the United States in four years after the 2012/13 post-season trip to New York and St Louis and the 2010/11 pre-season tour."
As reported by Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Specific dates, matchups and venues will be announced Feb. 20, but Pittsburgh’s game is expected to pit Italian team AC Milan against Manchester City of the English Premier League Jul. 27 at Heinz Field."
Daniel Taylor of the Guardian indicated that City's next match in the tournament would take place against Olympiakos in New York on Jul. 30.
And Cleve R. Wootson Jr. of the Charlotte Observer wrote that "according to media reports in the United States and London and a city of Charlotte official, Manchester City will take on Liverpool at Bank of America Stadium on Aug. 2."
Three notable details are readily apparent from these emerging reports.
Not surprisingly, City will make an appearance in New York.
With the efforts to get New York City FC up and running in time for the 2015 Major League Soccer season, it seems likely that City insisted on playing one of these matches in New York.
City's travel itinerary is also relatively gentle.
Pittsburgh to New York is a short journey, and New York to Charlotte is a relatively insignificant flight. City were thus spared the more arduous task of flying to Denver, Phoenix or Dallas.
Finally, City's draw in this tournament is quite favorable.
They will not see AS Roma or Real Madrid (clubs who, like City, appear headed for Champions League berths next season) unless they reach the tournament final set for Aug. 4 in Miami.
And City start with AC Milan, which on current form might be the weakest team in the field.
With apologies to Manchester United, of course.