Billed as the world’s premier annual summer soccer tournament, the International Champions Cup returns to New Jersey this summer with three matches featuring six top European squads. In all, the event will feature 18 clubs competing in 27 matches in 22 cities across the globe.
The area matchups include:
- Manchester City F.C. vs. Liverpool F.C., July 15, 9:05 p.m., MetLife Stadium, E. Rutherford, N.J.
- S.L. Benfica vs. Juventus F.C., July 28, 1:05 p.m., Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
- Real Madrid C.F. vs. A.S. Roma, August 7, 8:05 p.m., MetLife Stadium, E. Rutherford, N.J.
Following a launch event in Miami on Tuesday, organizers held a private event on Friday in New York to introduce the schedule, with Italian soccer legend and International Champions Cup Ambassador Paolo Maldini on hand to greet dignitaries and media in attendance.
“It is great to see how [the ICC] has been accepted to the point where it was the largest attendance ever for a soccer match in the States,” Maldini said during the luncheon. “It’s all part of the growth of soccer in the U.S.—it used to be that MLS was a place [international] players went just at the end of their careers, but not any more! Plus there are more fans of European teams than ever here.”
That record was set in 2014, the second year of the event, when more than 109,000 watched Manchester United and Real Madrid battle at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., the most ever at a soccer game in the United States.
The sixth annual ICC slate will also include women’s matches for the first time and inaugural Futures event featuring top youth players across the world.
The first matches are set for July 20 in Chicago (Manchester City F.C. vs. Borussia Dortmund) and Zurich (Sevilla F.C. vs. S.L. Benfica). Other host U.S. cities include Charlotte, N.C.; San Diego; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Miami; Minneapolis; Dallas; Washington, D.C.; and Santa Clara, Calif. Play continues through August 12.