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World Football Challenge 2009

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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

Pasadena, California
Rose Bowl, 92,542

Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Dome, 71,228

Baltimore, Maryland
M&T Bank Stadium, 71,008

Foxboro, Massachusetts
Gillette Stadium, 68,756

Arlington, Texas
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.

Fixtures

The current schedule is as follows:

July 19, 2009
19:00 EST
Club América 22px Flag of Mexico.svg World Football Challenge 2009 v 22px Flag of Italy.svg World Football Challenge 2009 Internazionale Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, CA

July 21, 2009
23:00 EST
Chelsea 22px Flag of England.svg World Football Challenge 2009 v 22px Flag of Italy.svg World Football Challenge 2009 Internazionale Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

July 22, 2009
19:00 EST
Club América 22px Flag of Mexico.svg World Football Challenge 2009 v 22px Flag of Italy.svg World Football Challenge 2009 Milan Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

July 24, 2009
20:00 EST
Chelsea 22px Flag of England.svg World Football Challenge 2009 v 22px Flag of Italy.svg World Football Challenge 2009 Milan M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

July 26, 2009
17:00 EST
Internazionale 22px Flag of Italy.svg World Football Challenge 2009 v 22px Flag of Italy.svg World Football Challenge 2009 Milan Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

July 26, 2009
19:00 EST
Chelsea 22px Flag of England.svg World Football Challenge 2009 v 22px Flag of Mexico.svg World Football Challenge 2009 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.

Comments (16)

  1. Looking forward to the Chelsea v Inter match the most. Chelsea facing their old Manager, Jose Mourinho. Think that match could get heated, especially after the verbal exchange between Ancelotti and Mourinho with Jose making fun of Ancelotti’s English. Potential for some classic matches but could turn out to be a lackluster disappointment. Will be interesting to see Yuri Zhirkov in action for Chelsea and whether Shevchenko will get significant playing time or not.

  2. where can one buy advanced tickets?

  3. I’d go to the official site if you’re looking to purchase tickets. You can see where to buy tickets for each match at the bottom of the page. Here’s the link to the official site: World Football Challenge.

  4. so many famous club team to pay, it will be wonderful!

  5. Why do you say that the stadiums will be “packed to the hilt with football fans who’ve never seen a live match in their life”. These games are being played in the US. The big clubs come here every summer, at least for the past 10 years. Barca and Real Madrid are here this summer too playing multiple games. Everton is playing the MLS all-stars in a game.

    MLS has been in the US since 1996. If someone is a football fan they have probably been to at least a few of those games. The US also hosted the WC in ’94, the Olympics in ’96 and the Women’s WC a couple of times. This isn’t the football hinterlands. Every city of any size has at least a semi-pro team. Below the first tier MLS there is USL Div 1, USL Div 2 and then the fourth tier PDL. Where I live in the Northern VA area (Washnigton DC area I have 2 PDL teams within 15 miles, 2 USL Div 2 teams within 60 miles and a MLS team within 35 miles. If I want to see a live professional match I can do so pretty much any time I want.

  6. As an American in Dallas, I am looking forward to the Chelsea game here. You dont really get a chance like this that often, especially in Dallas.

    There is FC Dallas, but nobody wants to see them play.

  7. I was thrilled to see the stadium in Seattle packed to the hilt for a friendly game with Chelsea. But more important was the fact that the fans were painted up, dancing, chanting, etc. for their team. I felt that soccer just maybe has come of age in America. We have a USL team here but MLS is too far away to catch the spirit. I wanted to get tickets for Baltimore but I see they are “Sold Out”.

  8. I attended the Inter/Chelsea game at the Rose Bowl yesterday, after a 5 hour drive from Las Vegas. While I cherished the opportunity to finally see a live professional match, my experience as one of those ‘first-live-game Americans’ left me very confused and even angered by the other Chelsea “supporters.” I was mocked, harassed, and threatened with violence and death for singing, standing, waving my scarf, and generally supporting the team. I wrote about the details in the forum here (http://soccerlens.com/forum/topic/re-inter-vs-chelsea-friendly-in-usa-supporter-behavior-questions)

    But once that was resolved after the first goal, it was a great experience and a rare chance to see two incredible teams and many world class players. When my tiny student budget rebuilds, I’d love to go to a Galaxy game to try again!

  9. Many people in Baltimore are excited about the Chelsea-AC Milan game. I found out about it a few weeks after tickets sold out. Very cool to see two top notch European soccer teams playing at Ravens Stadium. From what I heard in an interview on local radio yesterday (WYPR in Baltimore), the president of the Baltimore Ravens imported real grass to cover the astroturf that the Ravens play on. Also enjoyed listening to the webmaster of Soccerlens.com on that same program! That’s how I found out about this site.

    • @John,

      cheers mate, nice to see that you came through from the radio. To be accurate, that was Chris Toy, one of our editors, not the owner of the site.

      cheers,
      Ahmed

  10. wow almost every body is worried about AC Milan and Inter with their expensive players, and their controversy problems. the team that most people didnt even worry about is taking the big fish out slowly and one at a time.
    GO CLUB AMERICA!!

  11. Does anyone know how/why the clubs are chosen to participate in the World Football Challenge? I have been to their official site, but it doesn’t say how these teams get into this tournement.

    Thanks!

  12. It seems to me that the european teams are a little undermotivated to play their best. The players rarely get past a jog and it just does not look like the soccer they play in their usual season and leagues. The WFC, in my opinion, is about publicity- cause the commentators sound like their covering a beauty pagent- glamourized soccer as I’ve never seen it.

  13. Chelsea 2 – Inter Milan 0
    Chelsea 2 – AC Milan 1
    Didier Drogba’s still on top of his game n Zhikov had his first goal on his first game,Impressive.
    Chelsea Rocks…BLUES 4LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. chelsea ….through Blue….great..