The International Champions Cup has become a cultural bridge linking many of soccer’s greatest talents together since its inception in 2013. Typically held in the United States, the friendly exhibition tournament will expand to hold matches in both China and Australia in 2015. The bulk of the tournament’s teams derive from Europe, though matches penning Europe’s biggest names against the MLS’s teams have allowed the ICC to grow exponentially over its first two years of play.
The biggest feat in the tournament’s brief history came in 2014 when Manchester United faced Real Madrid. Held at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, the match drew the record for the highest-attended soccer game ever played in the United States with 109,318 on hand to watch Manchester United defeat Real Madrid 3-1. The tournament won’t have the opportunity to match that size in 2015, though many of the matches are slated to reach full capacity.
The tournament’s format has been altered each year since 2013 and the number of teams has jumped from eight to 15 in 2015. During the first year of play, groups of four were placed in Eastern and Western brackets and both winners played each other while losers faced one another in the second round of play. The two teams who won two matches over the first two rounds would advance to play each other in the final. That year, Real Madrid beat runner-up Chelsea by a 3-1 final at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
The final match of the 2014 tournament was again held at Sun Life Stadium between Machester United and Liverpool. Interestingly enough, the tournament’s final game again saw a 3-1 final, though it would be Manchester United claiming its first title in tournament history. 2014’s tournament had 13 hosting venues, including the 109,000+ capacity Michigan Stadium. 30 countries covered the games over nationally televised channels.
New for 2015 is the addition of hosting countries China and Australia. In China, three teams will play a total of three matches in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen while Australia will hold three matches at Melbourne Cricket Ground. The level of play will increase as seven more teams are included in the field, and 18 matches will be held throughout the United States. Among U.S. teams competing in the 2015 edition are the Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and San Jose Earthquakes. Both Manchester United and Real Madrid will be back to claim their second title in tournament history.
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International Champions Cup News
5-8-15: The International Champions Cup will officially kick off on July 11 when the Los Angeles Galaxy host Club America at StubHub Center. 17 dates are scheduled in North America over the three-week friendly tournament, and International Champions Cup tickets currently own an average price of $216.92 on the secondary market. The most expensive game will be played between Manchester United and FC Barcelona on July 25 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. That match sees tickets average at $364.74 and the get-in price starts at $147.
International Champions Cup Videos
International Champions Cup 2015 Schedule
July 11: LA Galaxy vs. Club America – StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.
July 14: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Club America – Avaya Stadium, San Jose
July 17: Club America vs. Manchester United – CenturyLink Field, Seattle
July 18: Paris Saint Germain vs. FC Porto – BMO Field, Toronto
July 21: LA Galaxy vs. Barcelona – Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, Calif.
July 21: Fiorentina vs. Paris Saint Germain – Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
July 21: Manchester United vs. San Jose Earthquakes - Avaya Stadium. San Jose
July 22: Chelsea vs. New York Red Bulls – Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
July 24: Fiorentina vs. FC Porto – Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
July 25: Manchester United vs. Barcelona – Levi Stadium, Santa Clara
July 25: Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
July 26: FC Porto vs. New York Red Bulls – Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
July 28: Barcelona vs. Chelsea – FedEx Field, Washington D.C.
July 28: Club America vs. FC Porto – Azteca Stadium, Mexico City
July 29: Manchester United vs. Paris Saint-Germain – Soldier Field, Chicago
August 2: Fiorentina vs. Barcelona – Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy
August 5: Chelsea vs. Fiorentina – Stamford Bridge, London, England