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International Champions Cup

Heinz Field summer soccer match announcement coming early next week

For those awaiting the news about which European clubs will be playing at Heinz Field in July, we’ll finally be finding out soon who will be playing, and what date.

International Champions Cup organizers have already begun a countdown to its launch its formal announcement for this year’s U.S.-based games early next week, and are announcing teams that are participating this week.

It was confirmed by Pittsburgh Soccer Now‘s sources with Heinz Field in early February, there will be a match between two European teams in Pittsburgh, but the specific teams could not be confirmed.

What’s pretty exciting news — potentially for soccer fans in our region — is that Borussia Dortmund, the Bundesliga club, will be participating in the tournament, and in all likelihood, will be coming to Pittsburgh.

Reports have surfaced that Dortmund will be setting up its preseason American training base in Pittsburgh as well as Chicago — and playing one of its International Champions Cup matches at Heinz Field.

On Tuesday, German club officially shared word that they’re coming for the International Champions Cup.

If you didn’t already know, one of Dortmund’s top players is 19-year old American Christian Pulisic, from Hershey, PA, and father Mark Pulisic currently is an assistant coach with the Riverhounds.

The July trip will be the club’s second to the U.S. this year, as it appears that they’re moving up a friendly against the newly formed LAFC in Los Angeles to May right after the conclusion of its Bundesliga schedule sometime around May 18 or 19. Apparently the previously planned trip to L.A. won’t conflict with travel schedule for the International Champions Cup, which will likely have them playing games on the East coast.

The last time Heinz Field hosted a soccer match between two European-based clubs was in July 2014, when Manchester City trounced AC Milan, 5-1, as part of the International Champions Cup.

That match was highlighted by then AC Milan striker’s ‘selfie’ with a pair of field invaders.

Balotelli photo bomb

While some initial reports pointed to a Man City return to Pittsburgh as Dortmund’s ICC opponent, now it’s looking more likely that opponent could be Tottenham Hotspur, who also announced they’re coming stateside this week too.

According to a World Soccer Talk report, the Spurs will take on Dortmund at Heinz Field on Wednesday, July 25.

This trip will only boost Dortmund’s appeal among U.S. fan base — especially with Pulisic’s emergence in the past few years.
As of now, the International Champions Cup has only announced the teams that are competing in 2018, but no official announcements have come regarding venues, dates or match-ups.

In the meantime, ICC will be announcing more teams on Thursday.

Here’s the current list of teams in the ICC:

2018 International Champions Cup Teams

  • Arsenal
  • Athletico Madrid
  • BVB
  • Manchester United
  • Tottenham
  • Bayern Munich
  • AC Milan
  • Benfica
  • Chelsea
  • Inter Milan

In addition, it appears the International Champions Cup will also host women’s matches too this summer.

Manchester City, Paris St.-Germain, the N.W.S.L.’s North Carolina Courage and a fourth club will make up the first Women’s I.C.C. field. The tournament will be contested in two doubleheaders in South Florida this summer: back-to-back semifinal matches on July 27, and then a third-place game and the final on July 29 at Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Dolphins’ home stadium, in Miami Gardens.

The fourth team has not been confirmed, but Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are among those on the shortlist to take part.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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