Manchester United F.C. to Face FC Barcelona at Levi’s® Stadium on Saturday, July 25
Relevent Sports, a division of RSE Ventures – a multi-national sports and entertainment venture firm with a focus on new technologies – today announced the San Francisco Bay Area will host multiple games for the 2015 International Champions Cup North America Presented by Guinness. European giants Manchester United F.C. and FC Barcelona will square off at Levi’s® Stadium at 1 p.m. PST on Saturday, July 25 in one of the premier matches of the tournament. The other matchup will see the San Jose Earthquakes host reigning Liga MX champions Club América at Avaya Stadium in San Jose on Tuesday, July 14, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PST.
“We look forward to welcoming two of the world’s most pre-eminent football clubs to Levi’s Stadium for the Champions Cup this summer,” said 49ers COO Al Guido. “Last year the San Francisco 49ers and San Jose Earthquakes launched a partnership to bring world-class football to the Bay Area and the Champions Cup, and these clubs, certainly represent the best that international football has to offer.”
Exclusive presale tickets for both matchups will be available beginning Monday, May 4 at 10AM ET while general public will have access to tickets Thursday, May 7 at 10AM PT. Fans can sign up at here for access to the presale. All venue-specific and other ticket information is available at www.internationalchampionscup.com.
“We are absolutely thrilled to bring these matchups to the Bay Area,” said Charlie Stillitano, Chairman of Relevent Sports. “Both Manchester United and Barcelona are two of the most recognizable clubs in the world and will provide a memorable afternoon for the fans at Levi’s® Stadium. Further, the San Jose Earthquakes have a great following and the city has a very diverse population. Avaya Stadium is the perfect venue to host the Club América and Earthquakes matchup.”
The 2015 International Champions Cup North America will run from July 11 – August 5 and feature 17 matches played across 12 regions throughout the world. Each team will play four contests and the club with the most points at the end of the tournament will be crowned champion. Each win in regulation will result in three points and a tie will go straight to a shootout; the winning team in a shootout will receive two points and the losing team will receive one. The results from in-season Major League Soccer contests involving tournament participants will be used as part of official tournament scoring.
In total, 10 teams from across the globe, including England (Manchester United F.C., Chelsea F.C.), Portugal (FC Porto), France (Paris Saint-Germain), Mexico (Club América), Spain (Barcelona), Italy (ACF Fiorentina) and the United States (San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls) will compete in the 2015 International Champions Cup North America. The participating teams have won a total of 91 domestic league titles, 98 domestic cup titles, six CONCACAF Champions League titles and 10 UEFA Champions League titles. The teams feature nine of the 2014-2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees, as well as 31 of the top 100 players in the world as chosen yearly by renowned English magazine FourFourTwo.
Arguably the most recognizable football club in the world, Manchester United is the most successful team in English league football and has been home to some of the game’s greats, such as Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law. The club is also incredibly successful off the field, having become the first sports franchise to be valued at over $3 billion, according to Forbes.
The record 20-time league title winners have dominated English football for much of the last 25 years and during that time, some of the biggest names in football, including Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, have pulled on the famous red shirt and run out on Old Trafford’s hallowed turf. And they all played under the greatest manager football has ever known: Sir Alex Ferguson. He took charge of Manchester United in November 1986, before retiring in May 2013. The current manager is Louis van Gaal who took over the reins in the summer of 2014 following Ryan Giggs’ four-game stint in charge as caretaker manager after David Moyes’ departure towards the end of the 2013/14 season. Giggs is now Van Gaal’s assistant and remains the club’s record appearance-maker. The current squad features star strikers Wayne Rooney & Robin van Persie as well as British transfer record-signing Angel Di Maria.
Manchester United Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold, said: “Tour 2015, presented by Aon, will allow the team to train at some of the best facilities in the world and play in front of thousands of passionate US supporters at first-class stadiums, like the Levi’s® Stadium. After this month’s Manchester derby broke records to become the most-watched Premier League match is US cable television history, the Club is excited to be returning to the United States at a time when the appetite for football is greater than ever.”
Founded in 1899, FC Barcelona is one of the most iconic soccer clubs in the world. With some of the greatest players in soccer history, Barcelona has won 22 league titles, 26 Copa Del Rey’s and four UEFA Champions League titles. In 2009, Barcelona performed the extraordinary feat of winning all six major trophies they were competing for, winning La Liga, Copa Del Rey, UEFA Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Between 2008 and 2012, Barcelona won two Champions League trophies, three league titles and a World Club Cup title. The current FC Barcelona squad includes global soccer superstars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and Neymar.
Club América boasts 98 years of history and 35 titles between domestic and international tournaments, including five CONCACAF championships and eight FIFA recognized international club trophies. Since its founding in 1916 by a group of young Mexican students attracted by the new sport of football, Club América has won the most titles in the modern era of Mexican soccer with 12, including an unforgettable end of the Apertura 2014. Through years of dominance, Club América has become one of the greatest teams in the history of Mexican soccer.
The San Jose Earthquakes were originally founded in 1974 as an expansion team in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and played 11 seasons in the NASL. The club featured top stars from around the world, including Paul Child, George Best and Steve Zungul. The club also played in the Western Soccer Alliance from 1985-88. In 1996, the team was one of the 10 charter franchises in Major League Soccer and was originally called the San Jose Clash in MLS. The Clash hosted MLS’ Inaugural Game in 1996, beating D.C. United 1-0 on April 6, 1996. After returning to their original moniker, Earthquakes, prior to the 2000 season, the Quakes captured MLS Cup championships in 2001 and 2003. They also won the Supporters’ Shield in 2005 and 2012. Currently, they are led by 2012 MLS Most Valuable Player Chris Wondolowski, one of the most prolific goal scorers in league history. The club opened its new home, Avaya Stadium, in 2015 that holds 18,000 fans and is one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in MLS. The club’s non-profit arm, the San Jose Earthquakes Community Fund, focuses on health and fitness initiatives for underserved youth in the Bay Area. For more information about the Earthquakes, log on to www.sjearthquakes.com.
“We are proud to play against two of the most well-known clubs in the world as part of this prestigious tournament,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “Playing against these two opponents once again demonstrates our growth as a club and these matches will help build our profile both nationally and internationally. We are also excited have Avaya Stadium be a part of the tournament so that we can showcase our great venue around the world.”
In 2015, the International Champions Cup will expand into new continents, as both China and Australia will host versions of the tournament during the summer. A.C. Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid will play in the International Champions Cup China in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai that runs from July 25- July 29. Real Madrid, Manchester City and AS Roma will play in the International Champions Cup Australia in Melbourne from July 18-24, providing even more fans from around the world the opportunity to see their favorite clubs live. Further details about the 2015 International Champions Cup can be found at www.internationalchampionscup.com.
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