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The Cure for World Cup Withdrawal

  • Shawn Donnelly


This is the latest—and probably last—installment of The World Cup According to Kempt™, our series on the stuff that really matters at this summer’s tournament in South Africa.

You might have heard: the World Cup is over. (Spoiler alert.) Spain won. So that’s it, right? Wrong. There’s still a lot of great soccer to be played—and watched. And believe it or not, a lot of it will take place in the U.S. over the next month, when some of Europe’s finest club teams come over here to do a little preseason sparring (and sell a planeload of jerseys). If you’re itching to catch some live soccer, here are five—no, ten—fantastic opportunities.

July 22: New York Red Bulls versus Tottenham Hotspur Harrison, New Jersey Red Bull Arena, 8pm ET

The preferred club of Steve Nash, Tottenham (aka Spurs) is currently one of the most talented teams in the English Premier League. But the bigger hook here is that this will most likely be the debut of French star Thierry Henry for the Red Bulls. If you’re looking for a bit more bang for your soccer buck, we also recommend the double-header on July 25 involving the Red Bulls, Spurs, Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon and England’s Manchester City.

July 25: Manchester United versus Kansas City Wizards Kansas City, Missouri Arrowhead Stadium, 6pm ET

It’s the New York Yankees of English soccer against… an MLS team from Kansas City. But this should be a fascinating atmosphere. Not only is it the first event at newly renovated Arrowhead Stadium, it will be Kansas Citians’ best chance to show people they have the chops to be a World Cup host site in either 2018 or 2022. By the way, if you can’t make it to the heartland, Man U has three other North American stops on their summer tour: Toronto (July 16), Philadelphia (July 21) and Houston (July 28).

August 7: Los Angeles Galaxy versus Real Madrid Pasadena, California Rose Bowl, 10:30pm ET

Real Madrid has a ridiculous number of marquee players on their team, from Brazil’s Kaka and Spain’s Iker Casillas to Portugal’s (and Armani’s) Cristiano Ronaldo. Galaxy has some guy named Donovan. Note: if you’re more of an “I like to watch soccer in a baseball stadium” kind of person, Real Madrid plays in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on August 4.

August 10: USA versus Brazil East Rutherford, New Jersey New Meadowlands Stadium, 8pm ET

So many things worth mentioning here: it’s a rematch of the 2009 Confederations Cup final, which Brazil won 3-2. It’s one of the first sporting events at the $1.6 billion stadium. It’s Brazil’s first trip to the area in 14 years. And both teams should have most of their stars for this one: the match comes on a FIFA fixture date, which means clubs are required to release their players to national teams.

July 28: Manchester City versus Club America Atlanta, Georgia Georgia Dome, 8pm ET

It’s that other team from Manchester, against one of the top clubs from Mexico. In a humongous Southern dome. The only thing better would be if you could get in a day early to watch the teams practice. Oh, wait, you can.