Sounders general manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer seems to have delivered on his promise of a single Sounders friendly this season against one of the world's great clubs.
Here's the official word from the Sounders:
Seattle Sounders FC will host Manchester United, winners of a record 11 English Premier League titles and three European championships, on Wednesday, July 20, on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, it was announced today. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (PT). The presenting partners for the Sounders FC international friendly match are AT&T and Samsung Mobile.
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"Our fans deserve the best and we have provided a blockbuster match," said Sounders FC majority owner Joe Roth. "Manchester United is perhaps the most popular team on the planet and certainly one of most successful. Yet on this summer night the loudest roars of the crowd will be saved for the home side, Sounders FC. I imagine people from throughout the West will descend upon Seattle to see this match."
Managed by Sir Alex Ferguson since 1986, Man United features a star-studded lineup led by forward Wayne Rooney, defender Rio Ferdinand--both members of the English National Team--and other accomplished internationals such as Dimitar Berbatov, Nani, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) and legendary midfielder Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in English history.
The match is part of the Sounders FC full 18-match season ticket package. In anticipation of the demand for tickets, seating at Qwest Field will be expanded to include the upper bowl.
The Red Devils will be making their third trip to Seattle. They met Scotland's Celtic FC before a record Qwest Field crowd of 66,722 in 2003. In 1982 Man United faced the original North American Soccer League's Sounders in the EuroPac Cup tournament, losing to Seattle, 3-0.
Manchester United has lost only three times in 30 matches and currently leads the EPL by five points. It won three consecutive titles from 2007 to 2009 and is aiming for a record 19th top division title.
The first English team to win a European championship, United added its third in the 2008 UEFA Champions League and later that year claimed the FIFA Club World Cup. Manchester United is now through to the quarterfinal stage of this season's Champions League. United has won a record FA Cups and has advanced to the semifinal round of this year's tournament.
Fans have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the match prior to the public on-sale as part of a three match ticket package which includes Manchester United, June 23 vs. the New York Red Bulls and October 15 vs. the San Jose Earthquakes. Three game ticket packages are available by phone at 1-877-MLS-GOAL or online at www.SoundersFC.com. Single game tickets exclusively for the Manchester United match will go on-sale Wednesday, June 1.
The date falls between Sounders home games against Colorado and Philadelphia.
I'll have more from league officials and the Sounders later today.
It was announced yesterday that Man United will once again provide the opposition for the MLS All-Stars at this season's game at Red Bulls Arena in New Jersey. And also today three additional games were added to the Red Devils' U.S. tour: meeting two other MLS teams and Barcelona as part of the World Football Challenge.
Here's the release on that:
Major League Soccer (MLS) and CAA Sports today unveiled three matches in its 2011 World Football Challenge, as well as four of the participating teams, which include FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Chicago Fire and New England Revolution. Complete details regarding the World Football Challenge including all participating teams, schedule, format, and event sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.
All three confirmed matches feature Manchester United as they take on legendary Spanish club FC Barcelona, in addition to MLS’ New England Revolution and Chicago Fire. Along with their previously announced participation in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 27, the Red Devils also announced a fourth stateside game, which will take place outside of the World Football Challenge, against the Seattle Sounders FC on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field on Wednesday, July 20.
Manchester United and the New England Revolution will clash in the World Football Challenge on Wednesday, July 13, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. The Chicago Fire will then host the Red Devils on Saturday, July 23, at Soldier Field. Manchester United concludes their participation in the event on Saturday, July 30, against FC Barcelona at FedExField in Landover, MD. These matches mark the Revolution and Fire’s only matches in theWorld Football Challenge. The balance of FC Barcelona’s participation in the challenge will be announced soon.
Ticket information for theWorld Football Challenge is now available by visiting www.WorldFootballChallenge.com.
2011 World Football Challenge
As of March 29, 2011
Date Game Venue City Time (ET)July 13 NE Revolution vs. Manchester United Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA 8:00 p.m.July 23 Chicago Fire vs. Manchester United Soldier Field Chicago, IL 8:00 p.m.July 30 FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United FedExField Landover, MD 7:00 p.m.