It will be a night of firsts for Manchester United in Pasadena
The LA Galaxy’s Chevrolet Cup match against Manchester United will represent the beginning of a new dawn for the Red Devils.
Ahead of the July 23 match at Pasadena’s famed Rose Bowl Stadium, we look at the top five “new beginnings” for United when they face off against the Galaxy.
1.) First game for new manager
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 19, 2014
The Chevrolet Cup will be the first match for new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman was appointed earlier this year, replacing the much-maligned David Moyes, who took on the unenviable task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson a year ago. Van Gaal joins the Red Devils after leading the Netherlands to a third place finish at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and brings an illustrious resume that includes a UEFA Champions League trophy with Ajax.
For all the change on the red side of Manchester, van Gaal’s right-hand man and first assistant will be United legend Ryan Giggs who served as an interim manager after Moyes’ firing in April.
2) First time playing in new uniform
United will have a new look when they face the Galaxy as it will be a first opportunity for fans to see their new Chevrolet-emblazoned uniforms.
Manchester United unveiled their new Chevy sponsored kits a week ago, starting a sponsorship deal that will last for seven years. Apart from the new sponsor on the front, the kits maintain United’s iconic red color scheme while adding a splash of white on the sleeves and collar.
The 2014/15 season will be United’s last with kit manufacturer Nike as the team signed a new 10-year deal with Adidas that will begin next season
3) New dawn for one of Manchester’s brightest stars?
One of the players hoping for a new start under van Gaal is Manchester United talisman Wayne Rooney.
The English striker was one of the lone bright spots during United’s nightmare 2012/13 campaign with just 19 goals and 17 assists across 37 games over all competitions. Just how United’s new Dutch manager intends to use the Englishman remains to be seen as play in midfield as a classic No. 10 or as a center forward.
Rooney will need to carry a majority of the goalscoring load during the preseason as van Gaal will not have the services of Dutch forward Robin van Persie who will have a three week break leading into the preseason, which will cause him to miss United’s entire American tour.
4) First game for new signings
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 26, 2014
Any time a team hits the reset button, new additions are a must and ahead of their 2014/15 campaign, United have added several assets as they seek to return to the top of the English Premier League summit.
The most high profile signing of the offseason so far is the addition of 24-year-old Ander Herrera from Spanish club Athletic Bilbao. During his tenure with Bilbao, Herrera blossomed into one of Spain’s brightest young talents due to his impressive passing ability.
Herrera isn’t the only key signing for United, however, as they added 18-year-old England international Luke Shaw from Southampton. The left back became the youngest player to play for the Three Lions at a World Cup during their ill-fated campaign in Brazil.
5) And more new faces?
United may not be done with their tinkering ahead of their Chevrolet Cup match as recent reports have linked them to a multitude of players.
The most interesting of which is Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, currently of Italian giants Juventus. Vidal was one of the major cogs for the Italian side during their 2013/14 Serie A title winning campaign and also helped Chile reach the round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
United have also been linked to German defender and World Cup champion Mats Hummels and Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani. Whether any of these deals materialize between now and the friendly against the LA Galaxy remains to be seen.