For the second season running Manchester United will enjoy their pre-season preparations at USA. And just like last year, United are set to face some of the giants in European game like Barcelona. Also the French champions PSG are in United’s group.
Last year United won all the games in the US tour, against LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan (on penalties), Real Madrid, before beating Liverpool to lift the trophy. It gave Van Gaal his first trophy after joining United following his World Cup stint with Holland.
Last season the tour took in Pasadena, Denver, Washington, Michigan and then at Miami. But, Reds boss Louis van Gaal was unhappy with the 13,500 mile tour. As a result of which The Reds have arranged a truncated warm up programme this time around.
United are expected to be based in Seattle where they will play their first match against Club America on July 17, and then fly out from their HQ for games against San Jose (venue TBC, July 21), Barcelona (Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, July 25) and PSG (Soldier Field, Chicago, July 29). They will then fly back to Manchester for a final Old Trafford friendly before the Premier League season starts early on August 8.
Last season the stand out fixture in the tour was when United took on Real Madrid in front of 109,318 fans in the ‘Big House’ in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This time though United take on their rivals Barcelona. However, United are unlikely to have a showdown with Lionel Messi, as he is set to take part in the Copa America in Chile with Argentina that ends on July 4.
According to ESPN, United managing director Richard Arnold said: “Manchester United has a great history of visiting these US cities, creating memorable experiences for players and fans that date back as far as the 1950s. Tour 2015 will allow the team to train at some of the best facilities in the world and play in front of thousands of passionate US supporters at first-class stadiums.
“After this month’s Manchester derby broke records to become the most-watched Premier League match is US cable television history, the club is excited to be returning to the United States at a time when the appetite for football is greater than ever.”
Last season the tour was a commercial success and United were victorious on it but Van Gaal wasn’t happy with the preparation. “We have to prepare for the season and when you have a lot of commercial activities also for the players, and you have to travel distances, you have to fly a lot, you have also jet lag, and that is not very positive for a good preparation. But the tour was already arranged (before I became manager) so I have to adapt and I shall adapt,” he said.