Soccer has been around in the USA for many years and many classic international matches have been held throughout the years. One in particular is coming up this July: the Real Madrid and AS Roma showdown in Dallas as part of the Guinness International Champions Cup. These soccer matches have been extremely significant to the popularity of the sport in the USA. For more soccer action, read on to learn about the top five international matches on US soil that prove soccer is as popular here as it is anywhere else in the world.
AS Roma vs. Real Madrid for the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup
This match has not occurred yet, but it will be an instant classic. The match between AS Roma and Real Madrid to be held in Dallas on July 29 is one of the most anticipated international club games for the Guinness International Champions Cup tournament. Real Madrid is currently the UEFA Champions League title holder and will be going up against the best Italian team that has been invited to the Guinness tournament.
Brazil vs. Italy for the 1994 World Cup
Another classic international match was Brazil versus Italy for the 1994 World Cup held in Pasadena, California. The two elite powers met in the finals and ended up with a scoreless tie. It was an historical match because the game ultimately had to be settled with penalties – the first ever World Cup to end with penalties. The attendance for this final was astronomical as well. The Rose Bowl stadium held 94,194 spectators for this classic match between powerhouses Brazil and Italy.
Real Madrid vs. Chelsea for the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup
Another great international match was Real Madrid versus Chelsea for the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup final held in Miami, Florida. This was the first international club tournament held in the US involving major elite clubs from Europe, and two of the best ended up in the finals. English team Chelsea was a top dog and faced the top club from Spain at the time. Guinness hosted the first edition of this tournament and it turned out to be a huge success when Real Madrid defeated the English giants 3-1 in the final.
US Women’s National Team vs. China in the 1999 Women’s World Cup
One of the most popular matches in recent history was the US women’s national team playing against China in the finals for the 1999 Women’s World Cup. This was a superb match because it greatly increased the popularity of the sport for women. The final was also held in Pasadena, California, and it ended in a scoreless tie just like the final game for the 1994 World Cup. China and the US went to penalties to define the World Champion. In the final moment, Brandi Chastain scored the final penalty and celebrated by taking her jersey off, exposing herself in a sports bra. This was huge in the sports world and ultimately caused major changes. After that, a new rule passed in which soccer players received a yellow card for taking off their jersey—this included men’s and women’s soccer.
LA Galaxy vs. Real Madrid at the Home Depot Center in 2005
Another top international soccer match hosted in the US was the LA Galaxy hosting Real Madrid at the Home Depot Center in 2005. This was one of the first matches that the MLS held with one of their own club, the LA Galaxy, versus an elite club team from Europe. At the time, the US spectators were treated with seeing one of their home teams play against the likes of Real Madrid, which was a team full of superstars at the time. The match was an introduction to what was to come – the International Champions Cup.
After so many years of soccer, the US has finally come up with a solution to bring the top teams from around Europe to have a small summer tournament on American soil. The International Champions Cup is a superb idea for making soccer a major event in the US. Not only do US soccer spectators get to see their local team compete in the MLS during the summer, but they also get to enjoy the top clubs battle it out in a tournament that lasts two weeks.
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