It’s been a while (the 2004 US Tour, to be exact) since the United States last tasted a summer football event quite like World Football Challenge. This summer’s event will bring some of the biggest names in football together for one week in the States, thereby giving some starved football fans the chance to watch their favourite club go head-to-head with some of the most storied names in the sport.
It’s amazing to think it’s taken this long for a company to bring back the world’s best club to the States, considering how well the US Tour did back in 2004. With Fox Soccer and ESPN leading the way, football has the chance to become a mainstream sport in the States going forward.
Tournaments such as the World Football Challenge are the first step in getting people excited about the sport. And with such names as Inter, Chelsea and AC Milan leading the way, chances are goode you’ll see packed stadiums to watch some of the best clubs in the world.
2009 World Football Challenge Venues
6 venues will serve as hosts for this year’s event.
Palo Alto, California
Stanford Stadium, 50,000
Rose Bowl, 92,542
Georgia Dome, 71,228
M&T Bank Stadium, 71,008
Gillette Stadium, 68,756
Cowboys Stadium, 80,000
All six venues play host to American football teams. Based on the clubs involved in the tournament and the new interest in international football, there’s a good chance a couple of the stadiums listed above will be packed to the hilt with football fans who’ve never seen a live match in their life.
World Football Challenge Fixtures
The WFC commences on 19 July and runs until 26 July. The tournament is a round-robin tournament that allows every clubs the opportunity to play three matches. The winner of the event will be decided by the club with the most points after six matches.
The current schedule is as follows:
|July 19, 2009|
|Club América||v||Internazionale||Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA|
|July 21, 2009|
|Chelsea||v||Internazionale||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA|
|July 22, 2009|
|Club América||v||Milan||Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA|
|July 24, 2009|
|Chelsea||v||Milan||M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD|
|July 26, 2009|
|Internazionale||v||Milan||Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA|
|July 26, 2009|
|Chelsea||v||Club América||Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX|
World Football Challenge Prediction
Rules: Each club plays three matches; the winner will then be decided based on the team with the most points at the end of the six matches.
Participants: Chelsea, Club America, Internazionale, AC Milan
Predicted Winner: It’s hard to pick a serious winner in an event like this. All of the clubs playing in the WFC are rumoured to be brining their first team; however, I doubt you’ll see very many of them playing the entire time, as each team plays three matches in the span of a seven days.
The main reason these clubs are playing in the States is to give football fans the chance to see some of the best clubs in the world — and promote their club as an international brand. You’ll see Lampard and Ibra bossing down the pitch in a couple of matches…but I doubt it’ll be at full speed.
They call these friendlies for a reason: It’s because they’re supposed to be friendly. The Inter/Milan match could get heated, but other than that I see this being a chance to promote the game in a potential hotbed.
If you put my feet to the fire and asked me to pick a winner, I’d probably have to go with Chelsea based on the fact that they have the most to lose/gain. Considering their involvement with clubs in the States, I’d assume they’d be the one that would most want to put on a show.