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Pre-Season Brings European Soccer Giants to USA

The summer pre-season soccer schedule gives US soccer fans a rare chance to watch some of Europe’s biggest teams in action. While the games might not produce the fierce competitive battles we see week in, week out in the English Premier League or Spanish La Liga, they at least give fans a chance to get up close and personal to some of the game’s biggest stars.

This year, the likes of Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Fiorentina, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Lyon will all feature in games on US soil. But where can you see your favorite team? Let’s take a look at the dates and locations of some of this summer’s biggest pre-season matches.

Liverpool

The English Premier League is growing in popularity in the US and for many teams, a trip stateside has become an annual ritual. This season, reigning European champions Liverpool will play three pre-season games at three different locations.

First up is a trip to the Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana to take on German giants Borussia Dortmund. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp used to coach the Bundesliga side, giving this game added significance. Fans who attend on July 19 will get the chance to join in with a pre-match rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, which is the anthem of both teams.

The Reds then head to Fenway Park in Boston on July 22 to take on Spanish team Sevilla. Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry also owns the Premier League club and they are regular visitors to the iconic stadium which is converted into a soccer pitch for the occasion. They end their American excursion at the Yankee Stadium in New York to face Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon. This will prove a real test for the players as they get to grips with the smallest playing area in the MLS.

Real Madrid

Before Liverpool claimed the Champions League crown, it had belonged to Real Madrid for three-straight years. The biggest soccer club in the world will delight US fans when they take part in the friendly International Champions Cup competition which takes place at venues across the globe.

On July 20, Los Blancos head to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas to for a titanic meeting with German League champions Bayern Munich. This will be a fantastic opportunity for fans in Texas to see two of soccer’s heavyweights go head to head.

Three days later, Zinedine Zidane’s men head to the FedexField in Landover, Maryland to take on EPL side Arsenal coached by Spaniard Unai Emery. The match could feature some of the Spanish club’s new signings including Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Eder Militao.

The best is saved for last as Real Madrid lock horns with arch-rivals Atletico de at the MetLife in East Rutherford, New Jersey on July 29. The first-ever Madrid derby to be held outside of Spain is sure to see high demand for tickets.

Despite winning four of the last six Champions League finals, the team from Madrid are 8/1 to bag a 14th title this year. That price might tempt anyone with a free bet offer to use from the Oddschecker website.

Barcelona

The team from Catalonia are the reigning Spanish league champions and one of the biggest soccer teams on the planet – only Real Madrid edge them in terms of global financial revenue.

Ernesto Valverde’s men will head to Japan at the end of July before traveling to the United States to take part in the LaLiga-Serie A Cup in which they will take on last season’s Serie A runner-up Napoli over two legs. The first match will take place on Wednesday, August 7 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida before they head north to the Michigan Stadium for the second leg on August 10. The kick-off times for both matches have yet to be confirmed.

Bayern Munich

As well as taking on Real Madrid in Texas as mentioned above, the German champions will face Arsenal in Carson, California on July 17 and AC Milan in Kansas City, Missouri on July 23. Both games also form part of the International Champions Cup.

Atletico Madrid

Either side of their clash with rivals Real Madrid, Diego Simeone’s men will take on Chivas de Guadalajara at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas on July 23 and the MLS All-Stars at Orlando City Stadium in Florida on July 31. Then will then head south to Mexico to face Atletico San Luis on August 2.

AC Milan

The Italian giants may have fallen from grace in recent years but they still have a huge following Stateside and fans will be flocking to the two games they have lined up as part of their pre-season preparations.

As well as the aforementioned clash against Bayern Munich in Kansas City, they will also line up against Portuguese side Benfica in Foxborough, Massachusetts on July 19. Milan finished fifth in Serie A last season but are now embarking a new era under Coach Marco Giampaolo. Fans in America will be the first to see the new boss’s team in action.

Summary

All in all, there is an absolute feast of soccer being served up for fans in the USA. Tickets will be snapped up so you’ll have to move quickly if you want to see your heroes in action.

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