Manchester United are currently in the United States of America in the midst of 2018-19 preseason training. Thus far, United have been drab, even by preseason standards, as they have drawn against two Major League Soccer sides.
Now they will move in to the International Champions Cup portion of their preseason exhibition schedule.
There is certainly no shortage of topics to discuss today in the wake of these uninspiring results, so let’s take a spin through the latest news and notes items making the rounds on the internet this Tuesday.
Antonio Valencia was forced off with a calf injury during the goalless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday and manager Jose Mourinho doesn’t believe the Ecuadoran will feature in the ICC friendlies against AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid in United States.
Perhaps Valencia will return for the friendly at Bayern Munich on August 5, but what really matters, obviously, is getting him ready for the Premier League season opener against Leicester City.
“I don’t think he will be available to play any one of the three matches of the International Champions Cup,” Mourinho told ESPN.
“It’s not a moment to take any risks. Antonio is a player that’s not a young boy anymore. We have to take care of him and to try to have him ready for the start of the season.
“We bought a fantastic player [Diego Dalot]. Young, 19 years old, but I think probably the best right-back at that age in European football, But he had a surgery last May and is recovering for that, so one more reason to take care of Antonio.”
The good news is that it sounds like the injury to Valencia isn’t all that serious.
One of those upcoming ICC friendlies, versus Liverpool on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, could break notable attendance records.
In 2016, Chelsea sent a club attendance record when they took on Real Madrid in the Ann Arbor, Michigan’s “Big House.” It was also the second most attended soccer match on U.S. soil ever. The first? Also at Michigan Stadium in 2014 when Madrid was in the house again, with Manchester United the opponent.
Although these matches were just friendlies, they still draw more fans than any World Cup or Olympic matches held in the U.S.
Thus Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh is very excited about coming to this game, and we spoke with him on that topic yesterday. Read what he had to say at this link.
Finally, Mourinho said that the World Cup was the perfect habitat for Paul Pogba. NBC Sports has more at this link.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.
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