NEW YORK — One big name deserves another. A day after Major League Soccer announced that Manchester United will take on the MLS All-Stars, the league and CAA Sports jointly announced that United and fellow European giants FC Barcelona will participate in this summer's World Football Challenge.
Manchester United and Barcelona are only the first of the big-name clubs expected to confirm their participation in the multi-team tournament taking place in stadiums across the US and Canada this summer.
This year, the WFC also includes, for the first time, MLS teams. The New England Revolution will host EPL table-toppers Manchester United at Gillette Stadium on July 13. The Red Devils will then take on the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field on July 23.
Manchester United and Barcelona—who locked horns in the 2009 UEFA Champions League final—will then meet each other at FedExField outside Washington, D.C., on July 30.
Barcelona, meanwhile, will participate further in the World Football Challenge, as will additional MLS clubs, in dates and venues to be announced soon. Tuesday’s announced matches conclude the participation of Manchester United, New England and Chicago.
Manchester United were confirmed on Monday as the opponents in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., on July 27. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will also travel to the Pacific Northwest to face the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field on July 20 in a friendly that is not part of the World Football Challenge.
The inaugural version of the World Football Challenge took place in 2009 and featured Serie A clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan, EPL side Chelsea FC and Mexican giants Club América. The teams played a round-robin format in six cities at stadiums including the Rose Bowl, the Georgia Dome, MT&T Bank Stadium, Gillette Stadium, Stanford Stadium and Cowboys Stadium.
Ticket information for the World Football Challenge is now available by visiting WorldFootballChallenge.com.
2011 World Football Challenge schedule (more dates & teams TBA)
July 13: New England Revolution vs. Manchester United, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass. (8 pm ET)
July 23: Chicago Fire vs. Manchester United, Soldier Field, Chicago (8 pm ET)
July 30: FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United, FedExField, Landover, Md. (7 pm ET)