Billed as the world’s premier annual summer soccer tournament, the International Champions Cup returns to 13 U.S. cities this summer with three matches featuring top European squads. In all, the event will feature 18 clubs competing in 27 matches in 22 cities across the globe.
Following a launch event in Miami on Tuesday, organizers held a private event on Friday in New York to introduce the schedule, with Italian soccer legend and International Champions Cup Ambassador Paolo Maldini on hand to greet dignitaries and media in attendance.
“It is great to see how [the ICC] has been accepted to the point where it was the largest attendance ever for a soccer match in the States,” Maldini said during the luncheon. “It’s all part of the growth of soccer in the U.S.—it used to be that MLS was a place [international] players went just at the end of their careers, but not any more! Plus there are more fans of European teams than ever here.”
That record was set in 2014, the second year of the event, when more than 109,000 watched Manchester United and Real Madrid battle at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., the most ever at a soccer game in the United States.
The U.S. cities scheduled to host 2018 ICC contests include: New York (July 15, 28, August 7); Chicago (July 20); Charlotte, N.C. (July 22); San Diego (July 25); Pittsburgh (July 25); Philadelphia (July 25); Los Angeles (July 25, 28); Ann Arbor, Mich. (July 28); Miami (July 28, 31); Minneapolis (July 31); Dallas (July 31); Washington, D.C. (August 4); and Santa Clara, Calif. (August 4).
Broadcast schedules for the sixth annual ICC will be announced at a later date.
Cover Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Ardfern