I learned about this friendly game coming in Toronto Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre second-hand via this article in Italian about Juventus playing the New York Red Bulls. Anyone going?
Such exhibitions get absolutely ZERO media coverage in the US it seems, including often not even on the internet, and I have no idea why that is the case as more people show up for these games than they do MLS matches. 20K showed up at the home pitch for the Red Bulls in Harrison NJ today wearing mostly the black-and-white of Juventus, and for New York though awful even so that is more than the Red Bulls get regularly.
Note that the very best players were not playing on either team but the New York Red Bulls won 3-1 with all goals in the second half. Juventus basically had a third team of sorts including some players on loan to it. Even so no excuses for Juventus with Del Piero and Trezeguet in front though in the twilight of their careers.
However in Toronto on Tuesday night, Juventus Light plays Fiorentina probably also Light. That sounds like a cheap ticket for some quality soccer to me except sometimes in the second half for these friendlies on tour they just screw around with subs.
Well I remember the exhibition games getting some coverage on the sports highlight shows here but it's true, for the numbers these games generate they are barely recognized by the North American media. Here are some of the games held in the United States last year (courtesy of BigSoccer forum):
Date -- Match -- (Attendance - Venue)
July 18 -- Chelsea vs. Seattle Sounders (65,289 - Qwest Field, Seattle)
July 21 -- Chelsea vs. Inter Milan (81,224 - Rose Bowl, California)
July 22 -- Club America vs. AC Milan (53,600 - Georgia Dome, Atlanta)
July 24 -- Chelsea vs. AC Milan (71,203 - M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore)
July 26 -- Inter Milan vs. AC Milan (42,531 - Gillette Stadium, Foxboro)
July 26 -- Chelsea vs. Club America (57,229 - Cowboys Stadium, Texas)
August 01 -- FC Barcelona vs. LA Galaxy (93,137 -- Rose Bowl, California)
August 05 -- FC Barcelona vs. Seattle Sounders (66,848 -- Qwest Field, Seattle)
August 09 -- Real Madrid vs. DC United (72,368 -- M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore)
Can you imagine where MLS would be today if majority of those fans supported their local team/league? Good thing though SUM (MLS' marketing arm, for those who don't know) was involved in most of those games so the MLS owners made some good money off them.
And here's the list of games that will be hosted on North American soil this year:
5/25 - Juventus v Fiorentina @ Rogers Center (Toronto) (8PM EDT)
5/26 - DC United v AC Milan @ RFK Stadium (8PM EDT) on Comcast SN
5/26 - Seattle Sounders FC v Boca Juniors @ Qwest Field (10:30PM EDT) on FSC/KONG
5/29 - Portland Timbers v Boca Juniors @ PGE Park (10PM EDT)
5/30 - Chicago Fire v AC Milan @ Toyota Park (8:30PM EDT) on FSC
6/2 - Montreal Impact v AC Milan @ Olympic Stadium (8PM EDT)
6/13 - NE Revolution v Cruzeiro (BRA) @ Gillette Stadium (7PM EDT)
6/19 - Dynamo Charities Cup - Houston Dynamo v CD Aguila (SLV) @ Robertson Stadium (9PM EDT)
7/14 - Charlotte Eagles v Bolton Wanderers @ UNCC TA Field (7PM EDT)
7/14 - Philadelphia Union v Celtic @ PPL Park (8PM EDT)
7/16 - Manchester United v Celtic @ Rogers Center (TOR) (8PM EDT)
7/17 - Charleston Battery v Bolton Wanderers @ Blackbaud Stadium (7:30PM EDT)
7/17 - SJ Earthquakes v Tottenham Hotspur @ Buck Shaw Stadium (10PM EDT)
7/17 - Portland Timbers v Manchester City @ Merlo Field (???? EDT)
7/18 - Seattle Sounders FC v Celtic @ Qwest Field (3PM EDT)
7/18 - RedBull New York v Cruzeiro (BRA) @ RBA (8PM EDT)
7/21 - Philadelphia Union v Manchester United @ Linclon Financial Field (7:30PM EDT)
7/21 - Carlsberg Cup - Toronto FC v Bolton Wanderers @ BMO (7:30PM EDT)
7/22 - NY Football Challenge - RBNY v Tottenham Hotspur @ RBA (8PM EDT) on FSC
7/23 - NY Football Challenge - Man City v Sporting Lisbon @ RBA (8PM EDT) on FSC
7/25 - NY Football Challenge - Tottenham v Sporting Lisbon @ RBA (1PM EDT) on FSC
7/25 - NY Football Challenge - RBNY v Manchester City @ RBA (3:30PM EDT) on FSC
7/25 - Kansas City Wizards v Manchester United @ Arrowhead Stadium (6PM EDT)
7/28 - Manchester City v Club America (MEX) @ Georgia Dome (7PM EDT)
7/28 - MLS All-Stars v Manchester United @ Reliant Stadium (8:30PM EDT)
7/31 - Inter v Manchester City @ M&T Bank Stadium (???? EDT)
Not good, both the result and the attendance of 12,234 in Chicago. But Legia is not very a popular club in the US and probably didn't ask for much in appearence fee so it's possible SUM broke even there, even with the small crowd.
Seattle Sounders on the other hand beat Boca Juniors of Argentina 3-0 in front of 40,112 at Qwest Field.
DC United also won 3-2 against AC Milan (most likely without some of Milan's top players and without much effort from them). Still not a bad result for the worst team in MLS. The attendance was 30,367 at RFK.
Just watched the highlights of USA-Turkey game. What a rousing send-off for the US team by 55,000 mostly red clads fans in Philadelphia! They sent the fans home happy with a come from behind 2-1 win and are preparing to get on the plane to South Africa tomorrow. Can't wait for Canada to be able to do the same for our national team someday, hopefully as early as May, 2014!
Indeed right here in town and I was stuck at work all day but at least got to watch it in full.
I was thoroughly unimpressed with our first half, but thankfully the coach Bradley made key adjustments and our future is having Findley and Torres in the midfield. Onyewu came in to replace woeful Goodson though is not yet 100% from what I have heard, but hey we have two weeks. Bornstein does not even belong on the team and I've never been a fan of Cherundolo, so the defencive flanks ought have Specter and Bocanegra.
England and USA to advance from their group. :thup: