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MLS: Manchester United is All-Star opponent

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on March 28, 2011 at 7:46 am with No Comments »
March 29, 2011 7:45 am

MLS has officially confirmed what had been rumored and reported … that Manchester United will return as the opponent for this season’s MLS All-Star game.

However, the key part of this release may show up in the fourth paragraph … where it is announced that the remainder of Man U.’s U.S. tour will be announced Tuesday. Qwest Field? Apparently we don’t have long to wait to find out.

Here’s the release:

Major League Soccer today announced that Barclay’s English Premier League leader Manchester United will return as the AT&T MLS All-Star Game opponent. The marquee match will be played on Wednesday, July 27 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ and broadcast live on ESPN2, Galavision and TSN (in Canada) starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The 16th All-Star Game in League history will be a rematch of Manchester United’s victory in the 2010 event, when a sellout crowd of more than 70,000 fans at Houston’s Reliant Stadium witnessed the first regulation loss by an MLS All-Star team against an international opponent. This summer’s matchup will be the eighth time the MLS All-Star team will take on an international opponent, having a 5-1-1 record in this format.

“We are pleased to host Manchester United again for our marquee summer event,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “Our All-Star Game has become a true celebration of soccer, and our best players look forward to the challenge of competing against one of the top clubs in the world.”

The MLS All-Star Game is part of Manchester United’s 2011 North American tour, which will be announced tomorrow Tuesday, at a media event at Red Bull Arena. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be present to announce additional details of the tour.

“We’re delighted to have been invited to play the MLS All-Star Game for the second year running,” said Ferguson. “Last year’s game was a special occasion in front of a noisy, passionate crowd. Obviously we’ll be looking to repeat the performance and the scoreline, but it will be a great spectacle for everyone involved.”

Manchester United is in first place in the Barclay’s English Premier League and recently advanced to the quarterfinal round of the UEFA Champions League. Founded in 1878, Manchester United won their third consecutive Barclays Premier League Championship in 2009, their 18th overall league title. Manchester United was the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968 and has since won the European Champions League two additional times. The Red Devils were also crowned the FIFA Club World Cup Champions in 2008.

Managed by Sir Alex Ferguson since 1986, Manchester United boasts a lineup full of international stars such as EPL scoring leader Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria), Wayne Rooney (England), Javier Hernández (Mexico), Nani (Portugal), Patrice Evra (France), Nemanja Vidiæ (Serbia), Rio Ferdinand (England) and legendary midfielders Ryan Giggs (Wales) and Paul Scholes (England).

Twelve different markets have hosted the All-Star Game, but only three have hosted it twice – New York, Washington, D.C. and Columbus, Ohio.

The New York Red Bulls will host the MLS AT&T All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena, which is considered the premier soccer facility in the United States. The stadium that opened its doors last spring features 25,000 seats that rest comfortably under a translucent roof. The architectural design of the $200 million dollar privately funded venue stands among the most astonishing stadiums of its size in the continent.

“Since opening our doors last year, hundreds of thousands of fans have been able to enjoy some of the best soccer events at our stadium.” said Erik Soler, New York Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director. “We are excited to welcome Manchester United and the MLS All Stars to this lineup of marquee matches. Manchester United is one of the world’s premier sports franchises and we expect that their arrival to Red Bull Arena will invigorate all soccer fans around the tri-state area.”

Prior to the General Public sale, an exclusive presale for Red Bulls Plan Holders to purchase All-Star Game tickets will begin April 20.

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