U.S. will host new International Champions Cup this summer
Real Madrid, Juventus and the Los Angeles Galaxy are three of the eight teams that will take part in the U.S. this summer in the first edition of an annual knockout tournament involving some of the world's top soccer clubs, SI.com has learned.
The new tournament, which is being called the International Champions Cup, will take place all around the U.S., with the final at Miami's Sun Life Stadium. There will be two groups of four -- Eastern and Western groups. The tournament, which has a major title sponsor and a TV deal, will be officially announced on Tuesday in Miami, with figures from several of the participating clubs on hand.
The European teams involved will be in the preseason for their 2013-14 club campaigns.
The ICC marks the first big splash into soccer of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and his RSE Ventures firm, whose CEO is former New York Jets executive Matt Higgins. In October, they hired Charlie Stillitano and Jon Sheiman from CAA Sports in a deal that included the acquisition of rights to the World Football Challenge, a series of preseason exhibitions with European clubs they had organized in the U.S. in recent years.
The World Football Challenge is now morphing into the International Champions Cup. After several years of one-off summer exhibitions, it will be a change of pace to see top teams in a tournament in which the winner takes home a trophy. In an additional wrinkle, one of this year's group games will take place in Europe.