Everything you need to know ahead of United v Club America
Manchester United begin Tour 2018, presented by Aon with a friendly against Club America at the University of Phoenix (kick-off 03:00 BST on Friday). Here’s everything you need to know ahead of our encounter with the Mexican outfit...
Setting the scene… With the World Cup now consigned to the history books, it’s time to turn our attention back to club football as the Premier League looms large – it's just three weeks until the season kicks off. Before that, though, players need to get back into the saddle and improve match fitness ahead of another demanding campaign. United’s opposition, Club America, will be the first of five friendlies that include contests against fierce rivals and Europe’s elite. The Mexican domestic season begins this weekend, so our opposition will be looking to end their pre-season campaign on the best possible note.
How can I watch? United's first match of Tour 2018 kicks off at 03:00 BST on Friday (20:00 local time on Thursday) and will be shown, along with every single Tour fixture, exclusively live on MUTV through Sky or Virgin Media, the MUTV app or online at MUTV.com.
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Who are Club America? Commonly known as Las Aguilas (The Eagles), Club America celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2016 and are the most successful club in Mexican football. They have won 12 league titles, tied with fierce rivals Chivas de Guadalajara, and a joint-record five Copa Mexico titles, as well as a record seven CONCACAF Champions Cup/Champions League titles. The Mexico City-based outfit compete in Liga MX, the top professional Mexican league, and play their home games at the Estadio Azteca.
Where are we playing? United's match against Club America will be the Reds' first appearance at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Glendale-based arena officially holds 63,400 fans but is expandable to 72,200 and, with standing room, can house 78,600 spectators. Previous events held at the stadium include the Super Bowl in 2008 and 2015, as well as matches in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2016 Copa America.
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Who could feature? In truth, it's anyone's guess! With the exception of United's World Cup stars, who are enjoying a break following their exertions in Russia, all of the squad Mourinho has taken with him to the USA are vying for a place in his first pre-season starting XI, and that includes the clutch of youngsters who are experiencing their first pre-season tours. Click the link below to read our analysis of the options available to the boss ahead of kick-off in Arizona, though we can expect a raft of changes over the course of the 90 minutes.
Who else are we playing on tour? This is the first of five matches that will take place over a 12-day period in the United States. Following the full-time whistle against Club America, the players will have one day of recovery before our next fixture against San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday. International Champions Cup fixtures then follow, with United facing AC Milan at the StubHub Center in California, Liverpool at the 100,000-seater Michigan Stadium and Real Madrid at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium at the beginning of August. Of course, you will be able to see all of these matches live on MUTV.
Opposition content provided by ManUtd.com's Adam Higgins.