The International Champions Cup is back! The summer club competition is entering its seventh year with some of the top sides from across Europe coming to Asia, North America, and a smattering of matches at home. It is a great chance for supporters to see how their teams are sizing up ahead of the 2019/2020 campaign and for fans who might not normally get the chance to watch their heroes to see them live in person.
But the one big trick has been keeping track of all of the matches. Fear Not! Our own Sean Maslin has the ten matches that you need to keep an eye on this summer.
10.) Roma versus Chivas de Guadalajara (July 16,, Chicago)
The ICC opener will feature a very interesting clash of styles as Fiorentina takes on Liga MX giants Chivas de Guadalajara. The Goats have had their fair share of success in international friendlies in the past and against a Roma side that will have had a bit of a facelift. Also, do not discount the impact Chivas fans will have on the match as their support is massive in The Windy City.
9.) Manchester United versus Inter Milan (July 21, Kallang)
United’s first match back after a rough end to their 2018/2019 campaign will be against an Inter Milan side that are bound and determined to be at the top of Serie A. Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have his first real opportunity to assess his players in a preseason which should prove vital in getting a better sense as to what changes need to be made to avoid another catastrophe.
8.) Lyon Femenines versus Atletico de Madrid Femenino (August 15, Cary)
The ICC Women’s Tournament is back for a second season and features four sides that will be itching at the chance to prove they are the best in the world. Lyon are still stinging from losing to the NC Courage in the final last year and will look to finally lay claim to being the best women’s club team in the world. But don’t sleep on Atleti, who have been at the forefront of the development of the women’s game in Spain.
7.) North Carolina Courage versus Manchester City Women (August 15, Cary)
The second semifinal match in the ICC Women’’s Tournament features the best in England (Manchester City) against the reigning ICC Champions (NC Courage). The Citizens are looking for a little respect for both club and country, having fallen just short in the FA WSL last season. A victory over arguably the best club side in women’s soccer.
6.) Manchester United versus Tottenham Hotspur (July 25, Shanghai)
An All-England affair will rock The Pearl of the Orient as United take on Spurs in Shanghai. With both sides having top four ambitions in the English Premier League the match will be a real test to see how they are shaping up against opponents with similar ambitions. US supporters should keep an eye on Spurs defender Cameron Carter-Vickers who will likely be using the opportunity to make one last ditch effort to earn a spot in the eighteen.
5.) Bayern Munich versus AC Milan (July 24, Kansas City)
Manchester United aside, there is no side with more question marks entering the ICC than AC Milan. The Rossoneri finished fifth last season in Serie A and are primed for a full reboot under new owners Elliott Management Corporation. Now is the time to see what sticks and Bayern Munich will serve as the perfect place to begin anew.
4.) AC Milan versus Benfica (July 29, Foxborough)
Benfica have been a staple in the ICC but never really had a chance to play in front of a ‘home crowd’. They will certainly have that in the suburbs of Boston which is home to one of the largest populations of Portuguese outside of the home country. Plus The Eagles have ambitions in Europe and a big win in front of a partisan crowd may give them the boost they need.
3.) Bayern Munich versus Real Madrid (July 20, Houston)
As they say Everything is Bigger in Texas. That also apparently applies to the ICC as the first big match between European powerhouses takes place in the Lone Star state with Munich taking on Madrid. With Eden Hazard running the midfield and Zidane back on the bench Madrid appear to ready for another run laden with silverware. But Munich will bring their ‘A’ game as well using the preseason match as a test for how they stack up against a potential Champions League final foe.
2.) Juventus versus Inter Milan (July 24, Nanjing)
The first Antonio Conte derby of the 2019/2020 season will take place as Inter’s new gaffer will take on his former side Juventus in a potential top two Serie A battle. Through the years the two sides have had some very bitter encounters in the ICC and this match should prove to be no different. Expect a few goals and possibly a couple of cards.
1.) Real Madrid versus Atletico Madrid (July 27, East Rutherford)
Atleti enter the 2019/2020 season feeling that they have made La Liga effectively a three horse race. But there is still plenty to do and an early positive result against a Real side would set the tone for what can be a very positive season.