Top Stories

International Champions Cup to feature Galaxy, Real Madrid and Juventus

CristianoRonaldoLevante1 (Getty)


As of summer 2013, the Herbalife World Football Challenge will be no more. In its place there will be a new tournament, culminating with a final match on August 6 or 7 in Miami at Sun Life Stadium.

According to a report from Reuters, the International Champions Cup is set to debut this summer, with the likes of Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Juventus traveling from Europe, and the Los Angeles Galaxy representing Major League Soccer in the tournament. There will be an additional four teams added to the tournament which will take the shape of two groups of four, an eastern and a western group.

The report also states that a major television deal with Fox Soccer Channel has already been agreed, and more deals for worldwide broadcasts are expected to be announced soon.

The International Champions Cup is being organized by RSE Ventures, who is owned by Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross, and it’s President and CEO is former New York Jets Executive Vice President Matt Higgins. Relevant Sports, the public relations arm of the company lead by experienced soccer businessman Charlie Stillitano, is promoting the Chelsea vs. Manchester City game in St. Louis this May.

“We are trying to bring a bit of that Champions League magic to pre-season,” Stillitano said to Reuters. “We know it is not the Champions League but managers have told us they can’t go through pre-season playing games that mean nothing.”

The competition will differ from previous pre-season tournament’s that were hosted in the United States because of a “significant” amount of prize-money and a tournament style knock-out format.

What do you think of this report? What other teams do you see added to the field? What potential matches are you looking forward to.


  1. Anyone that does not like soccer should not make any comments. Bring it on, it is always exciting to watch these super teams play one another.

  2. I’m excited. Soccer is soccer. I’ve seen MLS teams play European teams, there are rarely any blow outs. Regardless if its reserve players those players are representing that team for a reason. I went to see Juventus play in NY and I barely knew any of those players..Barzaghli, Bonucci, Marchisio…look at them now! People are comparing a 16 year league to teams that have over 16 titles to their name..I would like to see a Mexican team in the mix too. Why would anyone mind?

  3. A couple of the aspects of these types of friendly tournaments that many overlook are:
    1) Since this is played during the European pre-season many of the players used will be either aging Vets or young reserve players. The EU Vets & MLS/America are auditioning for each other. Vets one last contract….MLS/USA as a possible destination over China
    2) Youth players in America are exposed to higher compitition (potentially), and can make EU coaches/scouts watch lists for potential transfers in the future.
    3) Fans get to see/meet players/teams they otherwise may never have a chance to see in person.

  4. The biggest mystery J, is what has you wound so tight? It is what it is, an exhibition tournament featuring some of the best players and clubs in the world on US soil. What a reason for outrage! Having MLS play top clubs is a good thing for fans, the league/ it’s pocketbooks, MLS players and yes, US players development. The more opportunities to get outside of the North American bubble and measure oneself against the best in the world, the better. Until MLS has a schedule in sync w/ the rest of the world and/or is boasts world class clubs, it will happen in season in order to play world class teams. It’s pretty simple, the very top level clubs have leverage that has been earned over decades on the pitch, stands and TV viewer-ship.

    As for the name? Not sure what your gripe is.
    International: of or pertaining to more than one country.
    champions: winner, first among all contestants in a competition
    International Champions: A gathering of champions from leagues throughout the world.

  5. I love European football and I am a fan of MLS. European leagues wouldn’t release any of their teams mid-season for a made for TV event like this…why should MLS? If MLS is to grow, I don’t think it should allow stunts like this to compete with it for the small TV soccer audience. We have had international friendlies here every summer for YEARS. I am honestly not understanding how this is any kind of step forward. Please excuse me for insulting the Galaxy…they are INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS.

  6. Awesome! Any tournament that brings some of the best clubs in the world to Miami works for me. I’ll be at sun life to watch the final!

    • Like what? The Galaxy being freed from MLS regular season matches permanently so they can pursue better international marketing opportunities? Or maybe MLS clubs touring southern Europe in January to interrupt league seasons over there?

      • Mysterious J the only mystery is why call yourself a fan when all you do is hate on the game. This is evolution in the strictest sense and we as Americans are evolving to enjoy and appreciate the beautiful game. As with any evolution, time is the most important commodity. So it has and will continue to take time. But people are making an effort to bring top talent to the states. Just because you don’t agree with the title of the event is irrelevant. True fans and aficionados of the sport will enjoy this tournament as a step forward on the continuum of soccers evolution in America.

  7. At least 3 of the 4 teams are currently the reigning champions of their league, but that will no longer be the case by this summer.

  8. Oh goody, I get to listen to the eurocentric fan at work diss MLS in every way possible to the more casual fans trying to understand the game. At least there’s some talk from it. I hope it turns out to be a good cash grab and that there won’t be any injuries. Alecko remembers.

  9. Sounds like fun, but can’t argue with the comments that call it a joke. But to answer the question of who I’d like to see, obviously Barca and Bayern Munich. I’d also like to see a historically reminiscent scrimmage between Kiev Dynamo and German soldiers.

  10. It’s a great idea for this new cup. And yes, I’d like to see a Liga MX team included in this, I think it’s important to constantly play against them and other good soccer clubs from around the world to increase MLS visibility and experience for the MLS teams. Of course I’m glad LA Galaxy is included 🙂

    I think most teams will be playing reserve players including MLS teams but it’s great for experience and great for the fans to watch.

      • Exactly. You mean Real Madrid and Juventus are coming to town? Oh boo. I’d rather watch preseason NFL reruns on ESPN2 thank you very much.

  11. Let’s be real for a moment:

    A) These are nothing but pre-season friendlies

    B) The Galaxy are not “international champions”

    C) The fact they are involved is a gimmick that makes a joke of MLS regular season

    D) Fox Soccer Channel will cease to exist shortly after this “tournament” ends

    E) The idea that this will capture some kind of “Champions League magic” is a joke

    Aside from that, yeah..good times!

    • don’t take it so serious, sit back and chillax a lil and hopefully it’ll be fun to watch. of course the Galaxy are not international champions but who gives a crap. this will be a good experience for MLS players (maybe that are not regular starters) to go against better teams.

      • Hey, I am not the one calling it “INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP”…whoever came up with that name is the one who needs to be told not to be so serious. I just fail to see how it serves the interests of MLS to have to release a team and compete with this for an already small TV audience…and almost certainly re-schedule regular season Galaxy games that have already been ticketed.

      • I don’t see how the Galaxy are not champions? International implies more than one country. The tournament is being hosted here in America. Makes sense to me that the American champions would participate. Would make sense to have champions from many different countries participate in an INTERNATIONAL Champions Cup. Maybe pick up the Mexican champions, Brazilian champions, etc. It was never implied that the Galaxy would win the tournament, just that they would participate, which is completely logical.

      • This is semantics and admittedly the least of my arguments. The better questions are: does the MLS regular season have any meaning? If so, why are the Galaxy going to be playing in this as well as CONCACAF CL? What do you say to the sucker…I mean FAN…who bought a ticket to see the Galaxy in Colorado in late July that is likely to be told that match is rescheduled for a cold Wednesday night in October? Why is MLS going to release a team to compete against itself for meager TV ratings? PErhaps the greatest challenge has is getting people to watch on TV…how is this helping and not hurting?

      • you’re clearly back-peddling

        “B) The Galaxy are not “international champions”

      • The Galaxy have a two week break during the same time this tournament is scheduled to go. No need for rescheduling games. I’m sure these details were pinned down months ago. The Galaxy can handle this. They’re big boys wearin’ big boy pants now. The rest of the league can take notes.

      • The Galaxy won’t have to reschedule matches because they always take summer friendlies into account before the season starts.

        Notice the gap between 7/27 and 8/11. Plenty of time to squeeze 3 group games in.

        It doesn’t make a mockery of the MLS regular season because the reason these games are played is more financial than anything else. If anything, it adds to the value of the league as a whole because big European clubs continue to play in the States year after year.

      • That July 27 match would almost certainly have to be rescheduled. It makes a joke of MLS regular season in the sense that the tiny TV audience they get now will shrink even further. When intl friendlies get bigger attendance and bigger TV numbers, how does that help the league?

    • maybe not “international” but at least LA are champions, something Real Madrid hasn’t been able to claim in a while..

  12. My high school team is competing in it. Our tallest player is only 6″0, but we’re really really good. Some of us even play indoor soccer in the summertime

  13. I expect there will still be a significant number of reserve players on the field, but anything that can up the level of intensity will be better for fans.


Leave a Comment