Despite weakened teams, local fans eager for Manchester City-Borussia Dortmund
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The International Champions Cup match Friday night at Soldier Field between English Premier League champion Manchester City and Germany’s Borussia Dortmund doesn’t mean much. Other than Dortmund’s American star Christian Pulisic, many of the teams’ biggest names will skip the friendly after competing in the World Cup.
Yet, for the clubs’ fans in Chicago, the exhibition still will bring the rare chance to see their favorite team in their hometown. For supporters of Manchester City, it will be the first opportunity to see their team in Chicago since the August 2008 purchase by the Abu Dhabi United Group, which immediately turned the club into one of the richest and most powerful on the planet.
“We’re City fans, and having City come to Chicago is pretty exciting,” Manchester City supporter Johnny Hernandez said. “Normally, we have to travel to Miami or New York, and I know we had to come to Houston a couple years ago. They’re coming to Chicago, [and] I’m pretty stoked about it.”
Hernandez doesn’t seem bothered that the traveling squad isn’t stacked with City’s best players, the ones who made the 2017-18 team the first to collect 100 points in a Premier League season while scoring an EPL-record 106 goals over the 38-game schedule.
Instead, he’s more appreciative that City will be in his city, and he’s eager to see the first-team players who will dress and some of the younger members of the squad.
“We don’t follow just one player,” said Hernandez, who’s a member of the Chicago MCFC supporters group. “Obviously, we’re supporters of the club, and we want everybody to do well.”
Fans of American soccer, regardless of their club allegiance, want to see Pulisic do well. Just 19, the attacker from Hershey, Pennsylvania, already is being touted as potentially the best U.S. player ever. He’s reportedly drawing interest from some of England’s biggest clubs.
He also will help Dortmund’s efforts to build a bigger presence in the United States.
“You have one of the brightest young talents in American footballing history,” said Dortmund fan Troy Dolle, who lives in Chicago, “and he happens to play for Borussia Dortmund.”
4 Red Stars training with U.S.
Red Stars midfielders Julie Ertz and Morgan Brian, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and defender Casey Short were among the 25 players named to the U.S. women’s national-team roster for a training camp before the Tournament of Nations. The roster will be cut to 23 before the opener July 26 against Japan. The four-team event concludes with a doubleheader Aug. 2 at Toyota Park.