The schedule for the 2018 International Champions Cup has been officially announced, and Borussia Dortmund fans will finally find out where and who their team will be playing this summer.
Today, on a live Facebook video announcement (you can’t see it but I’m rolling my eyes at the typing of this), ICC announced their star-studded list of clubs playing in stadiums around the United States this summer. It won’t be the same tournament as previous seasons, what with the World Cup ending a week before Dortmund’s first match in the pre-season friendly tournament, but it’ll still be the best chance fans in America can see their favorite teams and players live.
Dortmund will be playing a mix of teams all around the United States, not including their friendly in Los Angeles against MLS newcomer Los Angeles FC. Dortmund opens their ICC schedule on July 20 at Soldier Field in Chicago against English Premier League powerhouse Manchester City. Dortmund last faced the newly-crowned Premier League champions in the 2016 version of the International Champions Cup at Longgang Stadium in Shenzhen, China. City took the lead by a Sergio Agüero goal before Christian Pulisic scored the equalizer six minutes into stoppage time. City would go on to win on penalties in the friendly. There’s also a bit of intrigue as Jadon Sancho will most likely be with the squad for this tournament, and he was a member of the Manchester City youth teams before forcing his way to Dortmund.
Up next for BVB will be Liverpool on July 22 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Bank of America Stadium, host of the Carolina Panthers and the Belk Bowl, will be the host stadium for this amazing match-up. It will be the first time since the 2015-16 Europa League Quarterfinals that these teams have met each other. It’s still weird seeing Jurgen Klopp not manage Dortmund, as even before I was a fan of Dortmund I could recognize the club because of him on the touchline. Could we be playing a Champions League winner this time? Hopefully, as I would love nothing more than to see Klopp lift that trophy.
Dortmund will conclude their participation in the ICC at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the five-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, against S.L. Benfica on July 25. These teams last faced off in the quarterfinal of the 2016-17 Champions League. Dortmund drew the Águilas in the first leg at Estádio da Luz before dominating them 4-0 at Signal Iduna thanks to a Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng hat-trick. Benfica currently sit second in the table of the Portuguese Premeira Liga, and fans might actually get a first-hand look at Benfica’s own American, 20 year-old central midfielder Keaton Parks!
Having personally been to Charlotte a number of times, I’m psyched for an opportunity for Carolina-based Dortmund fans to see their team play. Charlotte is a beautiful city with plenty of places to go to and things to do, so I know plenty of out-of-town Dortmund fans will enjoy the sights, sounds, and Southern food of the Queen City. Chicago is also a nice city, having heard my fiancé and her family talk about it many times, and I’m sure there will be plenty of things to do in Pittsburgh.
The rest of the International Champions Cup schedule will be available on their website, and I’m sure tickets will be available there and on the official Borussia Dortmund website. Keep an eye here for threads on official Fear The Wall meetups in each city.