If an American fan has had a first-hand taste of international club soccer in the states, it’s likely been via a friendly match.
This summer, though, a competitive knockout tournament, featuring some of the sport’s premier names, will be coming to the U.S.
Eight world-class soccer teams — AC Milan, Inter Milan, Valencia, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Everton, Juventus and the Los Angeles Galaxy — will participate in the inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup, which will conclude with an exciting pair of doubleheaders at Sun Life Stadium on Aug. 6-7.
Some of the most successful club teams in the world will play in a handful of NFL and MLB stadiums, including Dodger Stadium, (Los Angeles); University of Phoenix Stadium, (Phoenix, Ariz.); MetLife Stadium, (New Jersey); and Lucas Oil Stadium, (Indianapolis)
The clubs have been placed into separate sides of the bracket. Juventus, Everton, Real Madrid and the L.A. Galaxy are in the West bracket, with all four teams playing at Dodger Stadium, including one of the semifinals match. The other semifinal, this one on the East side, will be held at MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Jets and Giants. The four teams that were slotted in the East bracket: AC Milan, Inter Milan, Valencia and Chelsea.
All roads to the championship match lead to Sun Life Stadium, of course, where every team will play in an unprecedented two-day event.
“To bring eight teams to one city has never happened. Period,” said Charlie Stillitano, Relevent Sports CEO.
This one-of-a-kind tournament will bring together some of the most successful names in soccer and create a real competitive environment. Real Madrid, Spain’s winningest club, has a combined La Liga and European titles, while the trio of Italian teams — Juventus, A.C. Milan and Inter Milan — have combined for a remarkable 64 Serie A titles. Valencia, which also plays in La Liga, has won six titles. Though they have a shorter history, the L.A. Galaxy is building its own winning tradition, taking home the last two MLS titles. Chelsea, members of the English Premier League, are perennial contenders, have won three league tiles, including three since 2004. Finally, Everton, who plays with Chelsea in the EPL, has also had its share of success, winning five F.A. Cups.
“This tournament will not only bring great teams but great players to compete for the International Champions Cup,” Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said.