European powers to tour USA in World Football Challenge

ZambrottaIbrahimovic (AP)  

AC Milan, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Club America will take part in a round-robin tournament to be played this summer across the United States. The World Football Challenge will take some of the world's best teams to six different American cities, providing a special treat for soccer fans in some markets where international matches haven't been played in recent memory.

Here is a rundown of the schedule:

  • Sunday, July 19th- Club America vs. Inter Milan (Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, California)

  • Tuesday, July 21st- Chelsea FC vs. Inter Milan (Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California)

  • Wednesday, July 22nd- AC Milan vs. Club America (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)

  • Friday, July 24th- AC Milan vs. Chelsea (M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore)

  • Sunday, July 26th- AC Milan vs. Inter Milan (Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.)

  • Sunday, July 26th- Chelsea FC vs. Club America (Cowboy Stadium, Arlington, Texas)

All six matches will be shown live on the ESPN family of networks. Match tickets go on sale today at (that was the address provided by organizers, but at last check, the link was not working).

What do you think of this tour? Will you be attending any of the matches? Which player or team are you most looking forward to seeing? Will you skip these matches and save your money for World Cup qualifiers/Gold Cup/Confederations Cup?

Share your thoughts on the World Football Challenge in the comments section below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, Mexican Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to European powers to tour USA in World Football Challenge

  1. Connor B says:

    Sure it would be nice to see these teams but I have to save money and time off work for USA and Metro. Sorry got no time for or money for this.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Any info on ticket sales??

  3. Aaron says:


  4. Drew-ROC says:

    Is SUM behind this? How else would ESPN get involved?

  5. kevinjohnson says:

    Perfekt. I’ll be home in April after 16months living in Sweden. Arlington isn’t too far from Baton Rouge, so i might be heading to the Chelsea-Club America game.

  6. Tom says:

    These are exhibition games. That’s what I think of it.

  7. Cam says:

    I’ll wait to see if they are bringing their first team or reserve team. The first year of the Champions World Series of Football was amazing. The following years were a rip off.

  8. shs says:

    You would think with the article on ESPN for the announcement, that the link would actually work, no?

  9. Connor B says:

    Exactly Tom

  10. Hopper says:

    Seattle has hosted several exhibition matches in recent years: Manchester United v. Celtic, Chelsea v. Celtic, Real Madrid v. DC United, Brazil v. Canada … they were all a lot of fun and drew big crowds. If you live in any of the cities in which these games will be played, I’m sure it’ll be a good time and a rare chance to see some great players in person.

  11. Michael S says:

    This is something that would be very fun to see in person, but it’s not something I will seek out on TV.

  12. Lee says:

    Possibly going to the Baltimore match. Waiting on friends response.

  13. MattJack says:

    nope, 2 teams I hate are playing down the street from my place at the rose bowl. I can wait till Barcelona vs. Galaxy in August..

  14. Mark says:

    Umm…they are going head to head with the Gold Cup final??

  15. A.S. says:

    I went to a Chelsea – AC Milan preseason game at Giants Stadium a few years back. What a bore.

    I was going say “why no Giants Stadium”? But, really, do I want to shell out big bucks for a preseason game? No. So what do I care if they don’t play at Giants Stadium.

  16. CSD says:

    “Wednesday, July 22nd- AC Milan vs. Club America (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)”

    You better not just be teasing me. Soccer in the Georgia Dome, are you sure Georgia will allow it? We ain’t like the rest of you all down here.

    “Georgia is the only state in the nation that exempts adults in pickups from wearing seat belts. The stance has cost the state millions of dollars in federal highway funds.”

  17. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Thats not how one should look at it Tom. I look at it as this might be the only time I ever get to see Kaka and Ronaldinho in person. I will be at the Georgia Dome, fo’ sho’.

  18. einar says:

    espn family of networks? so that means only espn dportes and espn classic right?

  19. Shmenge says:

    AC Milan plays the 22nd, 24th and 26th, with travel days in between?

    Fans hoping to see their stars for more than five minutes per game may be seriously disappointed.

  20. Adam M. says:

    There is nothing bad about this tour, of course. The Milan Darby in Foxborough will certainly be an interesting match. I do wonder how many starters will play, particularly of those playing in the Confederations Cup that will have run the month before (it seems half of Brazil plays in Milan).

  21. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Soccer in the Georgia Dome is a deplorable idea… I can just see the Miland and America players running around over the football lined turf with MLS type KC Wizards goals that allow a ball to fly in and out in the flash of an eye…

    I am sorry but to not have this game outside is just retarded…Georgia Tech should let them use Bobby Dodd like they did for the WUSA back in the day…55,000 people is enough for the event and a deccent stadium to see the match in …

  22. adam b says:

    too bad it wasnt in chicago. then i could go.

  23. Homey Boehme says:

    I’m not really sure how these games create interest in MLS, or USL. I think it’s interesting that they are coming over here. Kudos for that, but what positive affect does this have on our domestic leagues?

  24. rednow.red4ever says:

    “Thats not how one should look at it Tom. I look at it as this might be the only time I ever get to see Kaka and Ronaldinho in person. I will be at the Georgia Dome, fo’ sho’.” -Sonic Death Monkey

    You shoulda been to the Brazil-U.S. friendly in Chicago- heck of a game.

    “Georgia is the only state in the nation that exempts adults in pickups from wearing seat belts. The stance has cost the state millions of dollars in federal highway funds.”

    Not quite as stubborn as NH: “New Hampshire has enacted neither a primary nor a secondary seat belt law for adults, although the state does have a primary child passenger safety law that covers children under 18.”

  25. john in atl says:

    Just purchased 4 tix in Mezzanine for ATL GA Dome game. Time to represent soccer fans in the area. Agree this match seems strange, but this seems to have Arthur Blank’s fingerprints on it and will surely be a gauge of top level soccer interest.

  26. what are the odds any MLS teams will get a friendly with one of these teams? it might be nice to see a game in a city that has an MLS team. i’m sure LA will get one as part of the Beckham deal. i’ll be glad to see him gone next season.

  27. Pimp says:

    I just got my tickets to AC Milan vs. Chelsea in Baltimore. FYI, if you have season tickets to the Ravens, you get first priority to the good seats. It is a bit strange that MLS is not involved. They should receive some royalties since they are the US’top league.

  28. Hopper says:

    John from Denver,

    Chelsea is coming to Seattle to play the Sounders while they’re here.

  29. nate says:

    God, those are some craptacular venues…

  30. LDQ says:

    I was able to order 5 tix early for the derby match at Foxboro. Got the front row behind the goal. Should be a pretty great game. I hope that the key players show up and this sells out these venues.

  31. lewd says:

    No Giants Stadium because the Gold Cup final is that day (US v. Mexico??). That’s where I will be

  32. RK says:

    This is a huge opportunity for Atlanta. I just wish the game weren’t on a Wednesday (and when the Braves are in town).

    The game isn’t at Dodd because the Falcons & Blank are part of this. And in mid-July the players might enjoy being inside.

  33. Daaaa(Red)Bulls says:

    Milan vs Inter > Gold Cup Finals

    I’m an RBNY season ticket holder, USMNT supporter, and live 5 mins from Giants Stadium. I’ll be going to Foxborough that weekend.

  34. JB says:

    Has the Georgia Dome ever hosted soccer before? That’s really an unusual venue. At least it is temperature controlled. It could have been scheduled in the afternoon in Tampa or Orlando, which would be torture in midsummer.

  35. el granadero says:

    AC Milan plays the Galaxy during that time frame also, no?

  36. M says:

    Since when is Club America considered a world power? I don’t even know what city they are from.

  37. SG says:

    Gillette is turf. Some reason not a fan of football on turf, wonder if they’ll risk injury during pre-season. Good idea all around though

  38. Dannyc58 says:

    I am with Tom. Lots of world cup qualifiers this summer, doubt any of the marquee players play.

  39. RK says:

    America has a huuuuuuuuge following.

  40. drock says:

    Who cares? Better no knock out an MLS ESPN game. I don’t care who it is, if the game ain’t real, I ain’t watching. Much rather watch a real points MLS game than the so called “best in the world” teams in exhibitions.

    I’ve never been to England and they are the better league I guess, but give me my club, my team, my supporters, and that’s my definition of a good soccer game.

    Just one man’s opinion.

  41. Nick says:

    Why, again, is Club America playing? Surely, if this event is for world-class teams, a team that buys it’s championship every year shouldn’t be involved.

  42. CapeCodFutbol says:

    My reaction: meh.

    At least the link is working now.

    link to
    link to

  43. sean monaghan says:

    the mighty mighty club america….LOL

    there from mexico city though M haha

  44. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Club America is likely one of the most popular teams in this hemisphere..They play at the Azteca…kind of a big deal to be honest… some say they are the richest club outside of Europe…not bad when you consider…Boca Juniors, River Plate and any number of the Brazilian teams…

  45. RK says:

    I’m very happy that one of the teams coming to Atlanta is America — they should be a huge draw.

  46. CapeCodFutbol says:

    Also I assume that all the people questioning Club America’s inclusion are joking, right? This is a barn-storming money making venture, and CA will generate ticket sales.

    My reaction has gone from “meh” to “bleh”. I’ll be much more interested in MLS during this tour.

  47. Rekro says:

    M&T Bank Stadium, Georgia Dome??

    *sigh* ……Why build SSS (ie: Rio Tinto Stadium) if your not gonna show them off.

  48. Chase says:

    “I’m not really sure how these games create interest in MLS, or USL. I think it’s interesting that they are coming over here. Kudos for that, but what positive affect does this have on our domestic leagues??”

    Do these teams care if they have a positive impact on MLS? I doubt it, they tour the US to expand their global fanbase, not the profile of MLS…

    I’m dissapointed with the Baltimore match-up, I despise Chelsea and Milan…

  49. RK says:

    Rekro: $$ and $$. GA Dome is bigger, and Blank/Falcons can earn more money. And this is a test for Atlanta.

  50. JCC says:

    Nick how exactly has Club America bought it’s championships every year? America hasn’t won a Mexican league championship since 2005 and before that it was 2002, even before that it hadn’t won something since 1989. If they’re “buying” their championships every year, someone needs to tell them they’re being hoodwinked.

  51. Joe says:

    I think the games in the United States are a great idea for not only the respective clubs, but the MLS and soccer in the US too. Having high profile teams play here and on TV raises people’s awareness of the game. They will go to see these teams, and it could be their first soccer game ever. These people, even if it is 10% of everyone who views the games, then may decide they enjoy watching the games, and when they realize they have an MLS team in their town, they will go check it out. American’s love rooting for their home teams, it just takes some big events to get their attention.

    I wish Liverpool would make a trip stateside though…

  52. Chris says:

    the MassaMilan derby should be interesting. Good time for an ambitious sub to break some opposition legs.

  53. Don says:

    Borrrring. Just what we need. A bunch of prima donnas on summer vacation in the USA playing pretend football.

  54. jtd says:

    i’ll be watching MLS.

  55. Scott A says:

    I’ll be skipping them. I prefer to go to games which mean something, whether they’re USA games, MLS, or leagues abroad. At the same time, I think it’s a good thing and will bring more soccer exposure to America. Obviously Club America isn’t in the same tier as the others but it’s cool that they’re there…brings in Mexican league fans, casual Euro fans, and the rest

  56. HIncha Tim says:

    I would go to watch a live match if it were where I live, even if it’s an exhibition. Watching them practice the day before or after is usually better than the game. However, I have no interest in watching on TV. Give me a game that means something, I’ll be watching and supporting the MLS.

  57. Erik says:

    Georgia Dome here I come!!!

  58. A. Ruiz says:

    And the winner of the unintentional comedic post of the day, is Nick. With this gem.

    “Why, again, is Club America playing? Surely, if this event is for world-class teams, a team that buys it’s championship every year shouldn’t be involved.”

    When the other teams involved are Internazionale, AC Milan and Chelsea (freaking) FC!!!


  59. A.S. says:

    BTW, what are the prices going to be like? Exorbitant, I’d bet. At least based on the last time Chelsea/AC Milan came over to play.

  60. Glad to see the Sounders will get a friendly. They looked pretty good last thursday. i’m interested to see how the northwest rivalry works out in a couple years.

  61. Gene_SF says:

    I will probably attend the Palo Alto game, and will watch the rest on TV, time permitting.

    There may be some value in this games in introducing the game to the unwashed masses, so to speak:)) Just kidding. I am reading David Goldblatt’s History of Football and these games are similar to the games that initially helped the game spready beyond Great Britain.

  62. mighty! says:


    I’d rather see United (DC) play…

  63. Homey Boehme says:

    yeah…i’m not a huge fan of these tours anymore. They used to seem very exciting to me, but I really want to see the MLS. I live in MN so all I have is the usl-1 Thunder. Still, I’m finally getting season tickets for them this year…because you never know, someday maybe we’re the next Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver.

  64. chupacabra says:

    First the Mexicans . . . now the Europeans are coming here to steal our sweet moolah. Pass.

  65. sack says:

    MONEY GRAB. Who cares about any of those teams? Oh yeah thats right the massive army of posers here in the USA.

  66. jtd says:

    honestly, i’d attend any mls match over any of these. i probably won’t even pay attention to this thing.

    does it irritate anyone else that they are having this “tour” in the middle of MLS seaason? these things are past thier time.

    and feel sort of insulting.

  67. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    I understand the folks that say they would choose a MLS match over one of these. But considering I live about 900 miles from the closest MLS town, I have no problem attending the America-Milan game. And btw, America has a HUGE following here in the Atlanta area.

  68. sean monaghan says:

    they should have bring manchester united and Barcalona with them,we could have two whole weeks of gloryhunters……woooo hoooo….not

  69. Erik says:

    For those of us in Georgia who never get treated to something like this, it will be an event.

    I see alot of negative comments from people on here, but keep in mind that you actually have TEAMS in your cities and we have NOTHING now.

    Got my tix already – i am sure it will be sold out.

  70. Leon says:

    Erik nailed it. I will be doing everything in my power to see the Baltimore match. So I should knock this and just support my American team which is a 2nd-tier British farm team? How is this a BAD thing??? I assume those that don’t like it aren’t going. Good. I’ll be having a nice time with it.

  71. BFT says:

    Is it just me, or are all the big clubs in the world making terribly bloated schedules for themselves these days? While they certainly will be making a quick dollar out of it, and hope to plant seeds of fandom for the future, it can’t be very good for the players to do all these extra tours which are totally meaningless.

    That said, I’d definitely be interested in the Baltimore match, but my money’s going to the CONCACAF Gold Cup match in Philly.

  72. orange315 says:

    I can’t believe these european clubs would play on flubber in all of these places. Outside of the Linc and Rose Bowl I believe all of these stadiums have field turf. I know they can put grass in gillette they have done it before, and who knows about Jerry Jones’ Cowboy Cathedral, but whos going to foot the bill for putting grass in all the other places?

  73. Jacob A. says:

    All my fellow Atlantans have gotten it right. This is a big deal for us because we don’t have a team, this is a chance to see good soccer, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, show that “Hey, maybe this could work there”

    The song to be sung during the game is to the tune of that “Now bring us some figgy pudding” christmas song:

    “Now bring us an mls team,

    Now bring us an mls team,

    Now bring us an mls team,

    Would you please Arthur?”

    Seriously, we need to make that happen.

  74. Jonathan says:

    Too much breast beating about supporting the MLS here. Meh to MLS snobbery.

  75. Homey Boehme says:

    @Jonathan – I am happy that the tour is going to Atlanta and other spots that aren’t usually the target markets for these trips in the past.

    I really used to dig these tours because they were “once in a lifetime” events. But when “once in a lifetime” happens every
    single summer it just doesn’t hold the excitement it once did.

  76. meh says:

    My feeling is that this is somewhat of a money grab. You’ve got a summer choke-full of soccer with WCQ’s and the confederations cup in June, then the Gold Cup in July. Are these teams even going to bring their “A” teams. Seems like ESPN and CAA are giving a big middle finger to the Gold Cup and CONCACAF.

  77. Don says:

    What is the message in these tours in the middle of MLS season, WCQ, and regional competitions. The message is scorn. Scorn for our leagues. Scorn for our clubs. Scorn for our national team. Just listen to Capello when he heaps scorn on us and forces Beckham to choose between honoring his contract with LA and losing his chance to play for England. Listen to the comments from AC Milan administrators about our game in the U.S. It is time for a new Declaration Of Independence. You are welcome to come when we hold the World Cup, but otherwise stay out of the USA unless you come to play our national team and our clubs. If you want to play a Mexican team, go to Mexico. If you want to play an Italian team, go to Italy.

  78. The Gentleman Masher says:

    I’ll be very curious to see how a soccer field fits in the dome. If this is a chance for Blank to showcase Atlanta…or even the Dome as an at least temporary option for an MLS team here…I imagine they will look to bring in a temporary grass field or an unlined soccer field.

    I just don’t know if its really wide enough to be a good fit for soccer. Its very much a gridiron specific facility.

  79. Homey Boehme says:

    @Don – yeah, this has advertising cash grab written all over it…from what I understand this tour is arranged outside of the influence of the MLS (from what I can tell anyway…anyone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong)…I guess this is a good test to see what the market really is for soccer in this country. I mean, 35 games (yes I’m totally exaggerating because I don’t want to count how many there really will be) in the course of a couple weeks? That is a lot of soccer (from MLS, to WCQ, to meaningless pre-season friendlies, to meaningless pre-season round robin tournaments).

    The only saving grace, as I’ve stated before, is that the games are being played in places that haven’t seen a game like this for quite some time (or ever). And of course, events like this always make a bid for the 2018 or 2022 world cup look even better.

  80. jim b says:

    Couldn’t care less about these pre-season friendlies. I frequently travel cross-country at relatively large personal expense for soccer, but this summer my money goes to WCQ, Gold Cup, and MLS. This can only appeal to pitiful eurosnobs and the people in Atlanta w/o a MLS team to support.

  81. DC Josh says:


    I live 20 minutes south of DC. Just checked ticket prices for the July 24th game between Chelsea and AC Milan in Bmore. And I can get behind the goal in the corneron the lower level for a WOPPING 50 bucks, plus service fees, plus shipping.

    Screw that.

    I will watch it in HD from my home, grilling up some brats and slamming back some hops.

  82. f4denz says:

    The sad thing is that while MLS and SUM are claimng poverty to RSL over who to pick for the 2009 MLS All Star match, someone goes out and brings some of the worlds best teams to the US.

    MLS and SUM pushed to bring up a Mexican team for the All Star match, RSL resisted and from most accounts the likely team to face the MLS side will be Valencia (6th place in La Liga).

    Don, both of your groups just got upstaged in a huge way, now what are you going to do about it? My bet is you will punk out and make more excuses, it is what you have done best for the last couple years on most topics. Get a set and use your connection, bring Barcelona to Salt Lake for the All Star match.

  83. JakeO says:

    Is the one at Cowboy Stadium going to be in their old facility or their new one?

  84. sugarfreeredbull says:

    @Don: I’m sure you never have traveled outside the U.S. which is why you have so much scorn toward foreign clubs. I have no problem with these tours. I love MLS and the teams but I also love the history of European and South American squads. That is something that doesn’t exist here(maybe one day but not yet). This tour does nothing to help MLS and it isn’t set up to do so. Some of you people would be best to read “How Soccer Explains the World.” The world is global and these teams know they can exploit the largest market in the world. What do you think Mexico, England and Europe says when NFL hosts a game overseas? It’s just a “cash” grab for us as well in trying to exploit the league and an American sport. And people should learn that Club America, Boca Juniors and River Plate are a big deal in the Americas (South America that is). If more Americans understood and respected the history of the game and some of these clubs, you’d have more of a leg to stand on when debating Euro snobs. But for right now, MLS is a small league with a short history and not many fans. So go ahead and declare your independence. The rest of the world isn’t listening and doesn’t really care when they have quality clubs and we have teams like the Galaxy, RBNY and the Wizards.

  85. Brian says:

    Most of you are fools. This is preseason training for these clubs. They are going ot be playing top stars for 45-90 minutes a match.

    If you’re a supporter of any team, you’ll be happy, and if you’re not, it is still a good experience.