NEW YORK (AP) — Manchester United will play in Toronto; Philadelphia; Kansas City, Mo.; and Houston as part of a preseason North American tour.
The Red Devils will arrive in Chicago, home of new shirt sponsor Aon Corp., on July 12 for training and then meet Glasgow Celtic on July 16 at Toronto’s Rogers Center, the club said Thursday. The 18-time English champions play the Philadelphia Union five days later at Lincoln Financial Field and meet the Kansas City Wizards on July 25 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Manchester United will compete in the MLS All-Star game against the league’s top players on July 28 at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.
Last month, Manchester United announced it will play a preseason exhibition on July 30 at Chivas’ new 45,000-seat stadium in Guadalajara, part of the agreement to acquire forward Javier Hernandez.
“It’s great to be going back to North America,” manager Alex Ferguson said. “I enjoyed the last two tours there in 2003 and 2004 immensely. The quality of the facilities is outstanding and there is real enthusiasm in the crowds.”
Manchester United could be missing its World Cup-bound players, a group that includes English forward Wayne Rooney and defender Rio Ferdinand, Portuguese midfielder Nani, French defender Patrice Evra and Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic. They are likely to be allowed to report late for training ahead of Premier League openers on Aug. 14-15.
Manchester United also had U.S. tours in 1950, 1952, 1960, 1970, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 2003 and 2004. On its last trip to the U.S., it brought a roster filled mostly with young players.
United said its roster will include Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, John O’Shea, Antonio Valencia, Federico Macheda and brothers Rafael da Silva and Fabio da Silva.
The club is owned by the Glazer family, owner of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The tour will be promoted by Major League Soccer and the Creative Artists Agency.
Manchester City, Tottenham, Glasgow Rangers, Valencia and Sporting Lisbon also have planned preseason tours. AC Milan, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Legia Warsaw and Red Star Belgrade have announced postseason U.S. tours for this spring.
MLS All-Stars are 5-0-1 in previous All-Star games against international opponents.
“We believe Manchester United’s North American tour will be a tremendous celebration of the sport following the 2010 World Cup,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said.
Manchester United’s streak of consecutive Premier League titles is likely to end at three. Chelsea (26-6-5) leads with 83 points, one ahead of Manchester United (26-7-4) with one game remaining. Chelsea hosts Wigan on Sunday and Manchester United hosts Stoke.