Will Man United’s current crop impress in America once again?
Manchester United’s love affair with America continues this summer, with the Red Devils heading to the U.S. for the fifth time since 2010.
With many of the players now knowing Los Angeles better than they know Longsight, we thought we’d look back at United’s – largely successful – stateside sojourns, and how they’re likely to fare on this year’s tour.
The Red Devils’ record certainly reads well, with the Premier League giants having won eight of their nine outings against MLS opposition, doling out a pair of 7-0 demolitions – against LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders – along the way.
Past United managers have tended to blood young players and new signings on the club’s American tours. The club’s key men in this fixture reads as an interesting mix of emerging talents and players largely forgotten – at least in the context of Man United.
Rising stars and one-hit youngsters
Affable Mexican goal-grabber Javier Hernandez netted his first goal for the Old Trafford outfit in a 5-2 rout of MLS All-Stars back in 2010, lobbing keeper Nick Rimando with an audacious effort.
On the other end of the spectrum, Gabriel Obertan netted in 2010 and 2011 tours, while defender Reece James – who made just one senior appearance for the club – grabbed two goals in the 7-0 triumph over the Galaxy.
And it’s not just against MLS opposition that United have impressed across the Atlantic.
Under the guidance of Louis van Gaal – he of the tipsy end-of-season-dinner speeches and fantastic touchline dives – the 20-time English champions, breezed past Barcelona in Santa Clara, with a 3-1 victory which saw Adnan Januzaj, Jesse Lingard and Wayne Rooney amongst the scorers.
What awaits this time?
The U.S. has changed since United’s last visit. Ed Sheeran has cracked the U.S. charts with #1 hit ‘Shape of You’, Donald Trump is President and Seattle Sounders are the champions of MLS for the first time in their history…
However, it’s two previous MLS Cup winners who provide United’s opposition this time out, in the form of L.A. Galaxy and Real Salt Lake – with the games taking place on Saturday 15 July and Monday 17 July respectively.
Both sides reached the knockout phase last term, with Galaxy getting the further – reaching the Conference Semi-Finals.
As for this campaign, half of the regular season has gone…and it’s been a miserable half for both clubs, especially Real, who could well finish bottom of the Western Conference in 2017.
So, will either they or the Galaxy get a much-needed confidence boost with a result against the mighty Manchester United – or will it be Jose Mourinho’s men who hit the ground running?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing