Jose Mourinho’s men face a busy travel itinerary as they tour the United States and Europe ahead of the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign
As has become customary for clubs of their size, Manchester United will head abroad this summer to visit fans around the world as they prepare for the 2017-18 campaign.
The bulk of their tour will be based in the United States, where they will meet a couple of MLS opponents before moving on to some big rivals from England and Spain.
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With the likes of Antoine Griezmann being linked with a move to Old Trafford once the transfer window opens, pre-season could be decidedly more interesting than usual for Red Devils supporters as they look to get a first glimpse of incoming signings.
This is your complete guide to the fixtures awaiting United in three different countries before they return to England for the new season.
MAN UTD PRE-SEASON FIXTURES
|Date||Opponent||Time (local / BST)||Venue|
|Jul 15||LA Galaxy||19:00 / 03:00||StubHub Center, Carson|
|Jul 17||Real Salt Lake||20:00 / 03:00||Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy|
|Jul 20||Man City*||20:30 / 02:30||NRG Stadium, Houston|
|Jul 23||Real Madrid*||14:00 / 22:00||Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara|
|Jul 26||Barcelona*||19:30 / 00:30||FedEx Field, Landover|
|Jul 30||Valerenga||19:00 / 18:00||Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo|
|Aug 2||Sampdoria||19:45 / 19:45||Aviva Stadium, Dublin|
Jose Mourinho will spend the first couple of weeks of pre-season attempting to get closer to finalising his squad – with several players expected to depart United, a few to arrive and the pick of the club’s youth graduates to get the chance to impress with the first team – before selecting the group that travels to the USA.
United will head to California first, taking on the LA Galaxy on July 15 in Carson, just to the south of Los Angeles, before flying a couple of hours to Salt Lake City in Utah, where they will face Real Salt Lake on July 17 in nearby Sandy.
It is worth noting that due to the time difference, the games will actually kick-off in the early hours of July 16 and 18 respectively in the UK.
Once those warm-up games are played, the International Champions Cup begins. The three matches United play in that competition are marked with a * in the fixture list above.
Those games will see Mourinho’s men endure even more travel in a short space of time. From Salt Lake City, United will take a three-hour flight down to Houston, Texas, where they will face Manchester City on July 20 (July 21 in the UK).
Then it’s four hours back out to California – Santa Clara, near San Francisco, this time – to face Real Madrid on July 23 before a five-hour flight to Washington D.C. for the final ICC clash against Barcelona in nearby Landover on July 26 (July 27 in the UK).
Aside from the two matches against MLS clubs, United’s games in the States will be played in massive NFL stadiums and should attract capacity crowds. NRG Stadium holds around 72,000 fans, Levi’s Stadium fits 68,500 and FedEx Field is the biggest of the lot at 82,000.
There is little chance for a break after that; United are then over to Oslo in Norway to face Valerenga on July 30, though whether a full-strength squad travels for that game remains to be seen. It is more likely that all of the stars will be out closer to home in Dublin, Ireland for United’s final friendly against Sampdoria at the Aviva Stadium.
WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?
United will get the chance to sharpen up in a more competitive environment before the Premier League begins through their participation in the UEFA Super Cup, which they qualified for by virtue of winning the Europa League.
That match will take place in Macedonia on August 8, with either Juventus or Real Madrid the opposition depending on the outcome of the Champions League final.
It does mean yet more travelling, however, for the Red Devils; Philip II Arena in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, is nearly six hours away from Manchester by plane.
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August 8 is a Tuesday, meaning United will have to fly back overnight and rest up on Wednesday before returning to their preparations for the Premier League. The fixtures for the 2017-18 English season are yet to be released, but the top-flight campaign will begin on Saturday, August 12.
As a result of their Super Cup commitment, United will be handed an opening match on Sunday or Monday.