AC Milan buildup begins

AC Milan, one of the world’s most high-profile soccer clubs, is making the most of its latest visit to Chicago. Ronaldinho, the star midfielder, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Friday’s Cubs’ game and AC Milan will also hold an open-to-the-public practice at Toyota Park from 5-6 p.m. on Saturday.

Fans will be admitted to the Italian club’s workout if they purchase a ticket to the Chicago Red Stars’ match against FC Gold Pride, which will immediately follow the workout. The Red Stars’ match will also be special, in that it’ll be the first without recently fired head coach Emma Hayes. It’s expected that general manager Marcia McDermott will guide the Red Stars in this match.

The Fire, meanwhile, will get its test against AC Milan on Sunday in its third international friendly in a 12-day span. The others didn’t go very well, as the Fire failed to score in losses to Paris Saint-Germain and Legia Warsaw in the first Sister Cities International Cup tournament.

More international matches were also announced, but they won’t be so friendly. The Fire will host three matches in the SuperLiga tournament — July 14 vs. Monarcas Morelia, July 17 vs. the New England Revolution and July 20 vs. Mexico’s Pumas UNAM.

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