Organisers aim to 'set gold standard for club soccer in the United States' with eight-team event staged across country
The organisers of the Guinness International Champions Cup, a tournament featuring top European teams that will take place across America in July and August, have announced the match schedule and venues for the event.
Real Madrid, Valencia, Milan, Internazionale, Juventus, Chelsea and Everton are the European teams who will play in the tournament, which kicks off with a match in Spain, on 27 July, before moving across the Atlantic. The Los Angeles Galaxy complete the field. The match in Europe will be between Valencia and Milan; Juventus will play Everton at AT&T Stadium in San Francisco on 31 July and on 1 August Chelsea will play Inter at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Real will play the Galaxy at the University of Phoenix.
Valencia, Milan, Chelsea and Inter will play the tournament's "eastern" semifinals at MetLife Stadium in New York on 4 August; Real, the Galaxy, Everton and Juventus will contest the "western" semifinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles the day before. All eight teams will play at Sun Life Stadium in Miami in 6 and 7 August – two of them in the championship match.
"This tournament will set the gold standard for club soccer in the United States," said Matt Higgins, chief executive of RSE Ventures, a company co-founded by Stephen Ross, the owner of the NFL's Miami Dolphins. "A year ago, Stephen had the vision to create a meaningful preseason tournament that would bring the world's best teams and top talent to venues all across the United States, culminating in an unprecedented celebration of the sport at Sun Life Stadium. The Guinness International Champions Cup is more than a soccer tournament; it will make it possible for Americans across the country to experience competitive international soccer first hand."
Chelsea have already visited the US this summer, losing friendlies against Manchester City at Busch Stadium in St Louis and Yankee Stadium in New York. Earlier this month, City announced a joint venture with the Yankees, to create a new MLS franchise, New York City FC.