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soccer is a girl's gameGirl's game. Totally.

The beautiful game they call football is coming back to the US for the 2014 International Champions Cup! Some of the world's top prancers will be on show for this strange contest, strutting like demented peacocks high on their own glandular secretions. Soccer has never been a major draw in America, but that is probably due to the quality of the domestic leagues. When the big guns come to town, everyone and his yankee poodle wants to go see what the fuss is about. And by "big guns" I'm not joking; Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Liverpool, Olympiakos, AS Roma and Inter Milan will all be competing for the prize. Oh, and little Manchester City, those plucky lads in blue. Almost forgot about them. Wankers.

And yes, I get it; Americans think the main four domestic sports are for real men, and soccer's a girl's game. But while there won't be any of the amphetamine-fueled fat bellies, spit and chewing gum we see in MLB, there will definitely be some chunky challenges going in during this post-World Cu- Doh! I almost said World Cu- DOH!!! Almost said it again! The Competition That Dare Not Speak Its Name may provide clubs competing in the International Champions Cup some "unfinished business", if you get my drift, and the tackles might be that little more venomous as a result of what goes on down in Brazil in June-July. We can but hope. Not that I'd want a Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Liverpool, Olympiakos, AS Roma or Inter Milan player to get hurt, you understand, but purely for entertainment purposes. Hmm, I feel like I've forgotten someone. Never mind, probably not important.

Reptilian eliteMoyes's appointment: Proof that even our Reptilian Overlords make mistakes sometimes...

One talking point ahead of this potentially earth-shaking clash(es) of the footballing Titans is Manchester United's current form. Yep, you guessed it; this article about the International Champions Cup is really just an excuse to complain about Manchester United being shite again. I won't apologize; it boils my bladder to think there have been occasions while watching United this season when I didn't know whether to laugh hysterically or write an open letter like this to manager David Moyes:

"Deer Mister Moyse

Your a schupid maniger for Untied. We deserve more then this, you havn't won a troafy in you're hole life so make liek a plaine an dissapear!!! We are mancjester United the bigist team in football we need better bantz on the terraces an you CANT diliver that can you. Dont never expec peeople to sepport you when were making 81 crossies in a singel game!!! Fergey wood never ever ever have is boys wasting chancies like that. start playing Evra up front hes an attaking player and move flecher to centre half with two others ether side. Probley Fill Joans and thingy SMorling they can kick a ball hard and far witch after all is you're stile! LOL! All jocking aside sort your'e life out and LEEVE United ASOP!!!

from a lieflong fan of Thee red Devuls,


Someone really should have made a documentary of Moyes's first season at Old Trafford. It would have been a comedy classic in the tradition of Brendan Rodgers' "Being Liverpool". But enough of United's woes of late. What of the other teams in the tournament? Real Madrid are certainly a favourite, and are currently competing hard in Spain's la Liga. Madrid won the competition in 2013, its inaugural year, by defeating Chelsea 3-1 at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami. But the quality is stiffer this year. The 2013 International Champions Cup saw teams like David Moyes's Everton finish 6th out of 8, playing the familiar brand of non-tactical "hit and hope" football we now see at Manchester United. 2014 is different; Real Madrid are one of the top teams in world football right now, and Manchester City aren't too shabby either. Liverpool are enjoying their best season in decades thanks to Brendan Rodgers and his new teeth, while Olympiakós are the current Greek champions. The recent match between Olympiakós and United in Piraeus saw the home side outclass a dire United who appeared to be in "weary donkey" mode throughout.

2014 International Champions CupDon't be like these losers. Buy a ticket!

The 2014 International Champions Cup schedule is as follows:

EventDate & Location 
Olympiacos FC vs.
AC Milan
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Citi Field
Flushing, New York

Manchester United FC vs.
AS Roma
Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Sports Authority Field At Mile High
Denver, Colorado

Real Madrid CF vs.
Inter Milan FC
Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 3:00 PM

University Of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Arizona

AC Milan vs.
Manchester City FC
Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Liverpool FC vs.
Olympiacos FC
Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Soldier Field Stadium
Chicago, Illinois

FC Inter Milan vs.
Manchester United FC
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Fedex Field
Landover, Maryland

Real Madrid CF vs.
AS Roma
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Cotton Bowl Stadium
Dallas, Texas

Liverpool FC vs.
Manchester City FC
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Yankee Stadium
Bronx, New York

Manchester City FC vs.
Olympiacos FC
Saturday, August 2, 2014 at [time TBA]

TCF Bank Stadium
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Inter Milan FC vs.
AS Roma
Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Lincoln Financial Field
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Liverpool FC vs.
AC Milan
Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Bank Of America Stadium
Charlotte, North Carolina

FinalMonday, August 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Sun Life Stadium (Formerly Dolphin Stadium)
Miami Gardens, Florida

NOTE: Manchester United vs. Real Madrid is on AUGUST 2, at MICHIGAN STADIUM.

Italian Catenaccio tacticWho let the dogs out?

If you're planning to be at any of these games this summer I'd URGE you to put your skates on and secure your tickets sooner rather than later. The Italian trio of Inter, AC Milan and Roma will be no laughing matter for the other teams in their groups, unless of course their players are suffering from gelastic seizures, a rare condition in which sufferers can't stop laughing (or crying), named from the Greek word "Gelos", which means laughter. But that's highly unlikely, so yeah, the Italians won't be getting giggled at and are sure to be doing Italian-ish football stuff, or catenaccio if you want to get all clever about it. Catenaccio means "door-bolt", a reference to a tight defense with a sweeper system that can be suddenly flung open on a counter-attack involving midfield and wingers who lacerate their opponents with incisive passes to forwards and, well, you get the picture. It all goes pear-shaped for teams who, just seconds earlier, thought they had the Italian side on the back foot. Such is life.

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, possibly the most royal and regal team of all, could well retain the cup. Currently straddling the pinnacle of the Spanish footballing pyramid, the boys from the Bernabéu will be defending their International Champions trophy from the high ground. All comers will be whipped mercilessly by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, their monkey-like Welsh winger. Ronaldo's neck alone is thicker than the entire Manchester City team combined (especially now Carlos Tevez has gone), and his powerful headers pack more force than one of Joe Hart's goal-kicks.

Brazil 2014Brazil 2014, the pinnacle of this year's football calendar.

Liverpool have actually been the biggest attraction, tickets-wise, so far. It's difficult to say why this is, but it's most likely some kind of mistake. Maybe American ticket buyers confuse the word "Liverpool" with the word "Beatles" and are buying the tickets in the mistaken assumption they're going to see some grand reunion concert? Or at least half of one, with Julian and Sean Lennon and Zak Starkey thrown in for good measure. Whatever the reason, the boys from the Mersey are top of the hit parade once again this side of the pond. Their game against Manchester City at Yankee Stadium will be one of the peaks of the tournament, I think, despite my instinctive repulsion towards the two teams. The other peak (not there can only be two peaks, mind) is of course Manchester United vs. Madrid. This is mainly now because it could be the only match of the competition in which a team reaches double figures.

Just remember, folks... #MoyesOut

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