Europe soccer giants’ US odyssey this Summer



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US summer tour 2022 Image: Camping World Stadium

A host of top Premier League clubs have already confirmed matches this Summer in the United States, with other European clubs also joining in. More are likely to be announced in the coming weeks as the 2021-2022 seasons come to an end. Additionally, big clubs from Spain and Germany are also confirmed to make Summer trips to the United States.

‘The Sporting News’ stated that after players enjoy some well-earned vacation following the international window in early June, they’ll be focused on getting back into gear for the upcoming club season with July being the big month for preparations.

Each year, a variety of different European clubs head to the United States for Summer tuneup matches, with the goal of getting ready for the new campaign. The Summer of 2022 will see several giants make their return Stateside after a couple of Summers of reduced international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Here’s a list of all the top European clubs heading to the United States for Summer friendlies:

  • On July 16th, the Premier League team Chelsea F.C. (UK) will clash against the Liga MX team Club América (Mexico) at the 65,000-capacity Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada;
  • On July 16th, the Premier League team Arsenal F.C. (UK) will clash against their peer team Everton F.C. at the 71,008-capacity M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland;
  • On July 19th, the LaLiga team FC Barcelona (Spain) will clash against the Major League Soccer (MLS) team Inter Miami CF (US) at the 18,000-capacity DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida;
  • On July 20th, the Bundesliga team FC Bayern Munich (Germany) will clash against the MLS team D.C. United at the 20,000-capacity Audi Field in Washington, D.C.;
  • On July 20th, the Premier League team Everton F.C. will clash against the MLS team Minnesota United FC at the 19,400-capacity Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota;
  • On July 20th, the Premier League team Manchester City F.C. will clash against the Liga MX team Club América at the 72,220-capacity NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas;
  • On July 20th, the Premier League team Chelsea F.C. will clash against the MLS team Charlotte FC at the 75,412-capacity Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina;
  • On July 20th, the Premier League team Arsenal F.C. will clash against the MLS team Orlando City SC at the 25,500-capacity Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida;
  • On July 23rd, the Premier League team Chelsea F.C. will clash against their peer team Arsenal F.C. at the 65,000-capacity Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida;
  • On July 30th, the LaLiga team FC Barcelona will clash against the MLS team New York Red Bulls at the 25,000-capacity Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey; and
  • The LaLiga team FC Barcelona will clash against the LaLiga team Real Madrid CF at the Allegiant Stadium and will clash against the Serie A team Juventus F.C. The dates for both the fixtures have not been announced as yet and the venue for the matchup against Juventus F.C. is not known as yet.

 

Summer 2022 USA tour matches

‘The Sporting News’ further stated that defending Premier League champions Manchester City F.C. are set to play a pair of matches in the United States. The preseason trip marks Man City’s first since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first match comes against Liga MX side Club América on July 20th at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. It’s the second time Man City will play in Houston, after a 2017 preseason friendly against rivals Manchester United as part of the International Champions Cup.

Surprisingly, the second match does not see Man City come to play at the 54,251-capacity Yankee Stadium in New York, home of sister club New York City FC. Instead…
 

Bayern Munich vs. Man City at Lambeau Field

Man City’s second preseason friendly will come against German giants FC Bayern Munich at the famed 81,441-capacity Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It’s the first time that the National Football League (NFL) team Green Bay Packers’ home stadium will host a soccer match.

The match, to be played on July 23rd, will mark Bayern’s fifth preseason trip to the United States since 2014, and its first trip to the US since a 10-day journey in 2019 that saw the club take on LaLiga team Real Madrid CF (Spain), the Serie A team A.C. Milan (Italy) and Arsenal F.C.

The game pits Man City boss Pep Guardiola against his former club, where he enjoyed a three-year stay before joining the Premier League side.

Much like Man City have done, the game will be the second part of Bayern’s ‘Back on the Road’ tour, a nod to the first preseason tour for Bayern since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noted Bayern head honcho Oliver Kahn in a club statement, “It will be great to see the enthusiasm of the people out there. FC Bayern is ‘Back on the Road’ – always looking forward and with the aim of bringing joy to our fans.”
 

Bayern Munich vs. D.C. United

Before taking on Man City, Bayern Munich will first fly to the nation’s capital to take on MLS side D.C. United on July 20th.

The game will mark the first meeting between the two clubs. It’s a step up for D.C. United who hosted the LaLiga team Real Betis in a preseason friendly back in 2019.

It is unclear whether star striker Robert Lewandowski will be with Bayern Munich for this tour, as the Polish superstar is rumored to be on his way out of the club this Summer.
 

Chelsea vs. Arsenal derby in Orlando

Two Premier League sides meet as part of the FC Series ‘Clash of Nations’ tour in Orlando, Florida.

Chelsea and Arsenal, two sides gunning for Champions League places in the Premier League this season, meet on July 23rd at the Camping World Stadium. They met twice this season in Premier League play, with the away team winning on each occasion in August (Arsenal 0, Chelsea 2) and April (Chelsea 2, Arsenal 4).

The two clubs will each play two additional matches in the preseason friendly series, with games on July 16th and July 20th.
 

Chelsea vs. Charlotte FC, Club América

Chelsea’s complete US preseason tour was only recently confirmed, likely due to the much-discussed change in ownership.

Prior to the Arsenal match, Chelsea will also take on Mexican side Club América in Las Vegas and then head East to meet new MLS expansion club Charlotte FC in North Carolina.

While the Blues’ sale is not yet complete, and there have been reported complications, it is thought that the sale to Todd Boehly and his ownership consortium will eventually go through, lifting the sanctions and this allowing the Blues to fulfill their match obligations.

Said Chelsea in an official release, “The club will be joining [the US tour] under new ownership. The Blues will only travel if the sale of the club has completed and accordingly are no longer subject to United Kingdom Government sanctions.”
 

Arsenal vs. Orlando City

The second Arsenal fixture in the preseason tour, taking place on July 20th, sees the Gunners again play in Orlando against the MLS club, Orlando City. The match will take place at Orlando City’s home Exploria Stadium, right down the road from Camping World Stadium.

A kickoff time for the match has not yet been announced.

The game will be the first meeting between the clubs, with Orlando City SC only first beginning play in 2015.

Said Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta via the club’s website, “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen our fans in the US and we’re looking forward to playing in front of them. We’ll be playing some good sides that will provide strong opposition and the training and matchday facilities in Orlando will provide a first-class environment for our preparations for next season.”
 

Everton vs. Arsenal, Minnesota United

Currently locked in a vicious Premier League relegation battle, Everton is already scheduled for two preseason friendlies in the United States.

‘The Toffees’ will meet Arsenal at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on July 16th before traveling to Allianz Field in Minneapolis to take on Minnesota United. The United States men’s national soccer team played a famously cold match against the Honduras national football team in the World Cup qualifying in Minneapolis this past Winter, but the weather should be much toastier during the Summer months.

Said Everton Manager Frank Lampard, “In my short time at the club, I have learned how Everton is one of the most-followed English clubs in the USA. Having spent part of my playing career on the East Coast – and playing at the M&T Bank Stadium myself in 2009 – I know how much excitement there is for football in the United States, and it is continually on the rise.”

Everton’s Premier League status is in serious question with two matches remaining in the 2021-2022 seasons.
 

Barcelona meets pair of MLS clubs

One of the biggest clubs in the world is coming to the United States this Summer for a pair of MLS friendlies on the East Coast.

Barcelona has a busy Summer, first set to play a friendly match in Australia on May 25th, just days after the LaLiga season concludes. The Catalan giants will then have June off before heading to the United States for a pair of matches, and maybe more.

The ‘Blaugrana’ take on Inter Miami on July 16th before heading North for a July 30th friendly against the New York Red Bulls.

There’s also a third US friendly that’s not yet confirmed but rumored to be happening…
 

El Clásico in Las Vegas?

Talks between Barcelona and Real Madrid are at an “advanced stage” to hold a Summer friendly at the brand new Allegiant Stadium in ‘Sin City’. The match will reportedly take place sometime between the two MLS friendlies Barcelona has scheduled on July 16th and July 30th.

The report states that there is “general optimism” that the deal will be completed and a match between the two LaLiga rivals will take place in July.

It would be the second time the two teams meet for a Summer friendly in the United States after the 2017 match at the 65,326-capacity Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, that saw Barcelona win 3-2. The match would potentially be the second Summer friendly featuring a European club team to be held at the Allegiant Stadium, adding to the game between Chelsea and Club América already scheduled.

Lastly, Barcelona also reportedly has a fourth US friendly rumored to be in the works, with a game against Juventus in Los Angeles also apparently on the docket. Inter Milan was also a rumored friendly opponent for the ‘Blaugrana’, but further word on that front hasn’t filtered through since late April, and it seems Barcelona’s Summer schedule is already quite full.

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