Manchester United arrived in Chicago on Monday afternoon to kick off their five-city, 16-day tour of North America. The famed English club will remain in Chicago until Thursday afternoon, when they will depart for Toronto.
United will hold a training session at the Toyota Park training field Wednesday afternoon, ahead of the Fire’s SuperLiga match against Mexican team Monarcas Morelia. Anyone with a ticket to the evening’s match will be admitted to the training session, which begins at 4 p.m. local time.
On Wednesday night, Manchester United and main sponsor Aon will unveil the team’s new jersey at Niketown in Chicago.
The team will presumably take in the city for the remainder of their three-day stay, so Chicagoans can be on the lookout for the likes of Edwin van der Sar, Darren Fletcher, and Nani this week.
“We’ve been to America before, and the facilities have always been excellent, and that's one of the major reasons why we’ve chosen this environment again,” assistant coach Mike Phelan told the club’s official website. “We have a slightly different schedule, because we’ve got two base camps, in Chicago and then Philadelphia.”
In addition to Chicago, Toronto, and Philadelphia, the team will also head out to Kansas City before landing in Houston for the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
The tour’s project manager, Rob James, told the Manchester Evening News that he compares the Kansas City Wizards training facilities to a smaller version of United’s training grounds in Manchester.
“Kansas City Wizards' training ground is a smaller version of Carrington — with two excellent grass pitches,” James said. “The Reliant Stadium in Houston has unbelievable training pitches, and the Chicago Fire ground is also impressive.”
Complete tour match schedule
July 16: Manchester United vs. Celtic F.C. (7 p.m. CT, Rogers Centre)
July 21: Manchester United at Philadelphia Union (6:30 p.m. CT, Lincoln Financial Field)
July 25: Manchester United at KC Wizards (5 p.m. CT, Arrowhead Stadium)
July 28: Manchester United at MLS All-Stars (7:30 p.m. CT, Reliant Stadium)
July 30: Manchester United at Chivas Guadalajara (Guadalajara, Mexico)