The International Champions Cup (ICC) announced their 2019 summer schedule this week.
The ICC has been growing in popularity and relevance every year. Put on by Relevant Sports, the exhibition competition consists of pre-season friendlies from (mostly) top European and North American (Mexico) teams.
This year, games will take place in the US (LA, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, New Jersey, Foxborough, San Francisco, Charlotte, Kansas City, Houston, Arlington), Singapore, Wales, London, Sweden, and China.
2019 ICC Teams
This year’s participating ICC clubs are:
- Real Madrid
- Chivas Guadalajara
- Bayern Munich
- Manchester United
- Inter Milan
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Atlético Madrid
- AC Milan
2019 ICC Soccer Schedule
Games, dates, and times are as follows:
Tuesday, July 16:
- Roma vs. Chivas Guadalajara — Chicago, SeatGeek Stadium
Wednesday, July 17:
- Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich — Los Angeles, Dignity Health Sports Park
Saturday, July 20
- Manchester United vs. Inter — Singapore, National Stadium
- Arsenal vs. Roma — Charlotte, Bank of America Stadium
- Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid — Houston, NRG Stadium
- Benfica vs. Chivas Guadalajara — Bay Area, Levi’s Stadium
Sunday, July 21
- Juventus vs. Tottenham Hotspur — Singapore, National Stadium
Tuesday, July 23
- Real Madrid vs. Arsenal — Washington, D.C., FedEx Field
- Bayern Munich vs. AC Milan — Kansas City, Arrowhead Stadium
- Chivas Guadalajara vs. Atletico Madrid — Arlington, Texas, Globe Life Park in Arlington
Wednesday, July 24
- Juventus vs. Inter — China, Location TBD
- Roma vs. Benfica — Harrison, New Jersey, Red Bull Arena
Thursday, July 25
- Tottenham vs. Manchester United — Shanghai, Hongkou Football Stadium
Friday, July 26
- Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid — East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium
Sunday, July 28
- AC Milan vs. Benfica — Foxborough, Gillette Stadium
Saturday, Aug. 3
- Manchester United vs. AC Milan — Cardiff, Principality Stadium
Sunday, Aug. 4
- Tottenham vs. Inter — London, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Saturday, Aug. 10
- Atletico Madrid vs. Juventus — Stockholm, Friends Arena
As game odds are released, we’ll post them here.
What to Watch for at this year’s ICC
For the most part, the ICC are just fan friendly affairs with little intrigue other than, “Will [fill in the star] play this game?” or “Will [this new transfer] make the trip?”
This year has a few extra storylines to follow:
- Juventus: Um, so, given the sordid charges he’s facing in Las Vegas, is Ronaldo going to make the trip to the US? Bet on: no freaking way.
- Chivas: Will they go all out against Atlético Madrid and Benfica to show where they truly stand on the global stage? Bet on: hell yes.
- Real Madrid: After a likely heavy summer spending spree, will they showcase their new stars? Bet on: yes.
- Tottenham: Will the Spurs successfully defend their 2018 ICC trophy, since it’s probably the only trophy they’ll see in the next decade? Bet on: yes.
Four Champions League Round of 16 Leg 1 matches are in the books.
On Tuesday, Roma defeated Porto 2-1, and Manchester United lost at home to Paris Saint-Germain 2-0.
On Wednesday, Tottenham dismantled Borussia Dortmund 3-0, and Ajax hung at home (with some help from their fireworks loving fans) but ultimately fell to Real Madrid 2-1.
Five Things We Learned
- Real Madrid’s hot streak is for real. RM’s recent La Liga form isn’t a fluke. Ajax is a strong young squad (one that will be breaking up too soon), especially at home, and Real Madrid showed their Champions League mettle earning a tough road victory. Karim Benzema (60′) put Los Blancos up and Marco Asensio (87′) put it away. Ajax threatened late (squandering a last minute equalizer), but there’s a reason why Madrid just keeps winning and others don’t.
- Manchester United’s hot streak is not. Listen, we’re not one to overreact and do the “Sky is falling at Old Trafford” routine. However, PSG looked like the deeper and more disciplined squad. Maybe this is a learning experience for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he implements a tactical plan to meet the attitudinal shift his squad has made. What is clear is Man U need a master plan to make up the 2 goal differential heading to Paris.
- Christian Pulisic will do well in the Premier League. If Wednesday’s game against Tottenham is any indication, Pulisic will have no problem adjusting to the Premier League. In a game where BVB was thoroughly run over in the second half, Pulisic (save for a couple of early miscues) was a constant attacking threat. Jadon Sancho might’ve taken his minutes this campaign, but Pulisic looks ready for his next phase.
- Son Heung-Min is the most underrated player in the Premier League. Seriously, Son is freaking legit. No Harry Kane, no Dele Alli, no problem. Son put Spurs up early in the second half and led a blistering second half attack.
- Roma and Porto are still in the Champions League. All dumping on these two sides aside, this was supposed to be a coin-flip match-up and all signs appear to a closely contested Leg 2 game. Yeah, the other 7 teams who advance will be wearing their lucky socks on the Champions League Quarterfinals drawing day to play one of these two, but Porto is strong at home, Roma is erratic, and this will live up to the 50/50 match-up most predicted.
Updated FiveThirtyEight Probabilities
Three teams have seen significant jumps in their advancement probabilities after this week’s games.
- PSG was a heavier favorite than many would’ve thought going into their tie with Manchester United, but they’ve jumped from around a 70% favorite to advance all the way to 97% following their 2-0 away win.
- Tottenham saw their win probability increase from 60% to 95% after thrashing BVB.
- Real Madrid was at one time an underdog to advance via FiveThirtyEight, starting at 48% after the draw and during their slump. They’ve now moved to an 81% favorite to advance.
- Of course, Roma and Porto are the closest match-up, with Roma moving from 50/50 to 61%.