Liverpool have today confirmed their three American pre-season tour dates for the coming summer, with International Champions Cup match dates set against Borussia Dortmund in Charlotte, Manchester City in New Jersey, and Manchester United in Ann Arbour.
The first match will on Sunday, July 22 against Dortmund at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. They will face City at MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Wednesday, July 25th. The final game will be against United at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday the 28th.
That final game, coming as it does at America’s largest stadium—and the world’s second largest after Pyongyang’s Rungrado 1st of May Stadium—seems the clear headliner, even if for many fans there will be groans at the prospect of facing a domestic rival during pre-season.
In fact, across the board that’s a criticism for many long-time fans when it comes to the ICC, which has a tendency to trot out tired domestic pairings in pre-season games that don’t actually matter. For the neutral, though, it’s clear United vs. Liverpool is a draw—and that equals ticket sales.
Beyond the almost obnoxiously uninteresting pairing of Liverpool with United and City—and, just a little behind that, a Dortmund side Liverpool have recently faced off against in meaningful action in Europe—there’s the issue of players who will be given time off after the World Cup.
With the group stages ending exactly a month before the Ann Arbor date on June 28th, it seems almost certain that any player whose nation does make it into the knockout rounds of the World Cup will be missing out on at least some and possibly even all of the North American tour.
Still, for those who can make peace with the fact that they’ll be paying to watch a side of mostly youth and fringe players take on a domestic opponent, it can at least be a chance to see the Reds in person—and for many, that’s reason enough to celebrate even an imperfect pre-season tour.