Manchester United vs Barcelona: European Giants Descend on D.C. for ICC Showdown
This is the third of three International Champions Cup (ICC) games for United, and the fifth of seven total pre-season friendlies arranged for the summer as a whole.
United's last two competitive meetings with Barcelona have each come on the very biggest stage - Champions League finals in both 2009 and 2011. Unfortunately, United were beaten on both occasions by two Barça teams many consider to be among the greatest of all time.
Despite no competitive games in six years, United have faced the Catalans in pre-season a handful of times since, starting with a 2-1 win in the summer of 2011 at the same FedExField that will host the friendly this year. Michael Owen and Nani scored that day.
There was a 0-0 draw in Gothenburg a year later in 2012, with Barça going on to win a penalty shootout at the end. United then faced them again in 2015, shortly after Luis Enrique and the 'MSN' trio had inspired a famous second treble. Goals from Wayne Rooney, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj secured a 3-1 victory for Louis van Gaal in that game in Santa Clara.
This will be the second time that United have met Barcelona at the FedExField in Landover, Maryland. It is the home of the NFL's Washington Redskins and will hold 82,000 fans eager to see two of the very biggest soccer clubs in the world.
As with many other arenas in the US, FedExField has also hosted a number of huge outdoor concerts, with Coldplay set to perform there later this summer.
Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo continue to train and be included in tour activities but are still unavailable to play as they go through their respective recoveries.
Juan Mata has been back in training after a knock against Real Salt Lake, but Ander Herrera is a potential doubt after he sustained a painful knock in the last outing against Real Madrid.
Barcelona Summer Lowdown
Barça touched down in New York on 19th July ahead of their first pre-season game against Juventus a few days later in a repeat of the 2015 Champions League final.
New coach Ernesto Valverde has been able to name a strong squad, featuring Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, as well as all the club's other star names.
Three players have left since the end of last season - back-up goalkeeper Jordi Masip to Real Valladolid, perennial loanee Cristian Tello to Real Betis, and fringe defender Jeremy Mathieu to Sporting CP in Portugal. In recent days there has been a media storm surrounding rumours of a Neymar move to Paris Saint-Germain that surely can't have been beneficial for the squad.
New Players to Watch Out For
Barça have been linked with a number of players in the media this summer, including United's own Ander Herrera, and have made little secret of their interest in PSG's Marco Verratti.
But Portuguese right-back Nelson Semedo remains the most high profile new arrival so far. The 23-year-old has joined from Benfica and is part of the tour squad despite his international commitments with Portugal at the Confederations Cup earlier this month.
Brazilian centre-back Marlon has made his loan from Fluminense permanent and is expected to be a first-team player moving forward after spending much of last season with Barcelona B.
Gerard Deulofeu has also rejoined from Everton, but misses the tour with injury.
Still to Come for United
Back in Europe in late July and early August, United will play two further games against Valerenga and Sampdoria in Oslo and Dublin which you can watch live on MUTV here
United's Premier League campaign kicks off against West Ham on Sunday 13th August.