With the pre-season tour looming and being less than a week away, here is the guide of what Man Utd will be up to when they’re in the States.
Sat 8th July 17 – Pre-Season Tour Begins
The Squad will meet up at the AON Complex before travelling to the airport before jetting off to Los Angeles, California. They will spend a week training in Jose’s favourite pre-season training resort in University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ahead of their flurry of summer matches. They’ll be working largely on fitness as most of the players would have been off relaxing with friends and family for 5-6 weeks.
Sat 15th July 17 – LA Galaxy vs Manchester United (KO 0300 BST)
The first match will be played a week into their pre-season tour against LA Galaxy. The match will be played at SubHub Centre in Carson at 1900 local time, 3am BST. Hopefully we’ll have most of the transfer done before this match to get the maximum value of bedding in the players before the Premier League kicks into action. The last time these two teams met in 2014, Man Utd won 7-0; let’s hope we kick off to a good start again this tour.
Mon 17th July 17 – Real Salt Lake vs Manchester United (KO 0300 BST)
The next match will be played only two days later after a 1hr 40min flight across to the State of Utah to play Real Salt Lake. We’ll be playing in the Rio Tinto Stadium at 2000 local time (3am BST). Expect a mix up of the starting 11 having played again just 48 hours before. Real Salt Lake FC have only been founded 13 years ago and have never played Man Utd before; it’ll be our first time playing in the 20,000 capacity stadium.
Thurs 20th July 17 – Manchester United vs Manchester City (KO 0230 BST)
This is the first big game over in the States and it’s the first match of the International Champions Cup. This unfriendly friendly will take place in the 72,000 capacity stadium NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The first two games are warm up games and the tour really starts here. The result of this match could hand the winner a minor psychological edge going into the new season and give their fans early bragging rights. I’ll certainly be staying up to watch this one!
Sun 23rd July 17 – Manchester United vs Real Madrid (KO 2200 BST)
The second of three matches in the International Champions Cup will be against Real Madrid in a mock up match of the European Super Cup in August. This match takes us back to the west coast in California, playing in Levi’s Stadium. The match will be played in the heat in a 2pm local time kick off, which is a more forgiving time for UK fans. How many Man Utd players will be playing against their old team? We’ll see!
Weds 26th July 17 – Manchester United vs FC Barcelona (KO 0030 BST)
This is the final match in the International Champions Cup. Manchester United will be flying coast to coast to FedEx Field Stadium which is the home of Washington Redskins. The stadium has a huge 82,000 seat capacity, and will almost certainly be a sell out with Manchester United taking on the likes of Messi, Neymar and co. Playing the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona is the first time since 2014 & 2015 respectively and will be a good tester ahead of playing Champions League football this season.
Sun 30th July 17 – Valerenga IF vs Manchester United (KO 1800 BST)
Four days after the match against Barcelona, Man Utd travel back to Europe for their penultimate match in Oslo, Norway. Man Utd have played them before in a pre-season friendly in 2012 where we drew 0-0. At this point we should now be finalising the bedding in process for the new players and sorting out tactics that we will generally deploy in the season. Kick off will be 7pm local time (6pm BST).
Weds 2nd Aug 17 – Manchester United vs Sampdoria (KO 1945 BST)
This is the final non-competitive match of the summer against Serie A’s Sampdoria. This will be the first time the two teams will have met and the final run out before our big show down with Real Madrid. The match will be played in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and then Man Utd will have the best part of a week to prepare for their European Super Cup showdown against Real Madrid.
Tues 8th Aug 17 – Real Madrid vs Manchester United (KO 1945 BST)
This is the biggest match between now and the start of the Premier League. The European Super Cup final against one of our arch rivals, Real Madrid. The match will be played in Philip II Arena in Skopje, Macedonia. It’ll be interesting to see how far we are off Europe’s best team over the last two seasons. It’ll also be a good bench mark to assess realistic expectations in the best club competition in the world, The Champions League.
After this match, it’s business as usual in the Premier League, kicking off against West Ham the following weekend.
It’s no surprise that Mourinho wants to get his transfers done early doors so he can then focus his attention and energy on winning matches rather than being distracted in the transfer market. Expect movement this week, if not, something has gone wrong. Enjoy the pre-season: A lot of late nights/ early mornings! I’ll still be watching them though, will you?