Manchester United will be in Toronto to take on the Scottish Premier League’s Celtic F.C. on July 16.
The game will be the first stop in Man Utd.’s North American tour, one that will see them also make stops in Philadelphia, Kansas City, Chicago, Houston, and Guadalajara, Mexico.
The game will mark the second time that a top European club has come to Toronto for an exhibition match. Last year, in front of a crowd of nearly 23,000, the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real Madrid squad played Toronto F.C. at BMO Field, beating the home side by a resounding 5-1 score.
This year’s game will be held at the Rogers Centre due to growing demand for tickets and it’s 55,000 person seating capacity.
Manchester United, one of the English Premier League’s most successful franchises, last visited North America in 2004, despite having toured Asia for consecutive years.
The team will likely be without stars Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, and Park Ji-Sung, all of whom competed in this year’s World Cup. However, fan favourites Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, and Edwin Vandersaar are all expected to be in the lineup for the July 16 game.
After the game in Toronto, Manchester United will travel to Philadelphia to take on Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Philadelphia Union, before playing the Kansas City Wizards and the MLS all-stars in Houston. They have also pledged to play a team in the Mexican league, Guadalajara, a condition in their recent signing of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.
“It’s great to be going back to North America,” wrote Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson in a statement. “It’s especially pleasing to be going in a World Cup year when the interest in football will be at its height.”