Updates from Wednesday, April 2
Alejandro Zuniga of the The Michigan Daily reports that the agreement for Real Madrid to play Manchester United will be confirmed later this week:
A press conference to be held on Friday is expected to confirm international club soccer at Michigan Stadium, multiple sources told the Daily.
Per the sources, the International Champions Cup is expected to announce that Real Madrid and Manchester United will play Aug. 2, 2014, at the Big House.
Wednesday afternoon, an Athletic Department e-mail invited media members to a “special event announcement,” to be held Friday. The e-mail stated that Athletic Director Dave Brandon and members from the organizing committee will be present to discuss the “historic event to be held at Michigan Stadium.”
Associate Athletic Director David Ablauf told the Daily that he was not allowed to comment on the nature of the press conference.
Brace yourself, America, elite soccer is heading your way.
Real Madrid and Manchester United are set to play stateside, via Jon Morosi of Fox Sports:
The game will likely take place in the Big House at the University of Michigan, meaning there will probably be a crowd of 100,000 plus. What’s more, the showdown will be on the heels of the 2014 World Cup, which should help capture some of the peaked attention that soccer draws every four years.
As for the squads, Real Madrid is one of the better clubs in the La Liga table. They feature arguably the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as other marquee names such as Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema.
Real Madrid currently sits a single point behind Barcelona and Atletico in the La Liga standings.
Manchester United hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success as Real Madrid this season, although they play in the English Premier League.
Man. U is currently looking up at six teams in the Premier League table and has suffered a number of injuries this season, including one to Wayne Rooney. However, assuming Rooney is on the field during this game in August, a showdown between Rooney and Ronaldo will be more than enough to pack fans into the Big House.
Christopher Harris of World Soccer Talk notes that the game will be one of many stateside in the near future:
Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool will be among 8 top European teams playing in 12 cities in the 2014 International Champions Cup…The games will be played in 12 cities across the United States — Dallas, Washington DC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, Charlotte, Ann Arbor, Hartford, New York and Philadelphia.
There will plenty of opportunities for Americans to watch premier soccer after the World Cup.