Jose Mourinho and his selected squad of 28 players trained for the first time in LA on Tuesday ahead of the start of their pre-season tour in the US.
All eyes will be on United’s new additions, namely £90 million signing Romelu Lukaku and £31 million defender Victor Lindelof, as the pair seek to stake a claim to starting 11 places and quickly adapt to life under Mourinho and new skipper Michael Carrick.
United’s tour gets underway on Saturday as they travel to the StubHub Centre in downtown LA to take on arguably the biggest club in the MLS, LA Galaxy.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) July 12, 2017
The game will be a huge commercial opportunity for United and will draw a significant crowd for the home team as well as help United expand their marketing in the US.
After that, United then have a trip to Utah as they face Real Salt Lake at their home ground, the Rio Tinto Stadium.
Like the LA Galaxy match, the game offers United a great opportunity to expand the brand but more significantly, the short turnover between the two games will mean that Mourinho will need to rotate his squad and give the younger members or squad players in the team the opportunity to prove themselves and catch the manager’s eye.
Following the game in Utah, United will then face their three hardest games of the tour back to back.
The first is a Manchester derby game, taking place at 20:30 local time (02:30 BST) at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on July 20.
Whilst technically only a friendly, United’s early game with Manchester City will offer clues and indications as to which of the two sides seem in better shape at this stage of pre-season and which team needs to up their game before the real season gets underway.
The two sides will not face-off again until they meet at Old Trafford on December 9.
Three days later, United face a mouth-watering tie back in California at the Levi’s Stadium against Real Madrid.
Probably the toughest game United will play during pre-season, this will be the match that players such as Lukaku and Paul Pogba will be determined to make their mark in after both came in for criticism last season for struggling in major games.
Whilst both clubs are not expected to be at full match readiness and won’t therefore be fielding their strongest line-ups, if United can get a victory over the current European champions it will give them the edge over Madrid before the teams meet again on August 8 for the UEFA Super Cup final at Telekom Arena in Skopje, Macedonia.
United’s last game in the US will take place at the FedEx Field Stadium in Landover, Maryland against Barcelona on July 26.
The game will offer another opportunity for United to test themselves against some one of the best teams in the world and with these three games falling so soon after each other, it is likely most of United’s team will be rotated and feature during these games.
With the US tour over, United have two final pre-season games left before their Super Cup clash with Madrid and opening Premier League game at home against West Ham on August 13.
Their penultimate pre-season match takes place on July 30 at the Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo, where the Red Devils will face Valeranga.
The club’s final pre-season game will be at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin where Serie A side Sampdoria will be their last opponents before the competitive football season starts.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 13, 2017
This pre-season offers a wide array of different opposition and differing climates and conditions for United to face, enabling the squad to prepare for the long season ahead although Carrick vowed he would make life as easy as possible.
“It is wrong to come into the role and then suddenly change, shouting and screaming at everyone, telling them what to do,” Carrick told Man Utd’s website.
“I am not like that. I will speak when I need to speak, but I am quite laid back and chilled out really. I will try to lead by example.”
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