America’s Favorite Import

Story By: Nathaniel Rivas

Every sport carries noticeable rivalries and well-known teams. In football, the New England Patriots dominate on an almost yearly basis, while the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears have a history that goes way back. Baseball has witnessed the return of the Chicago Cubs, and the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees rivalry needs no introduction. The Cleveland Cavaliers won in it in the NBA, and the L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics battle each other every season for historical supremacy. And we can’t forget the Pittsburgh Penguins in hockey and the rivalry between them and the Washington Capitals.

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Soccer is no exception. This summer, the most notorious soccer rivalry hits U.S. soil. A version of El Clásico will be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami this summer. The match will be a part of the International Champions Cup and while Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona will be in their offseason, but fans are hoping for a great showing.

It will be the first time this matchup will occur in the United States. According to CBS Sports, this will be only the second time El Clásico will be played outside of Spain.

Other marquee teams will cross the pond to play in the U.S. as well. Those teams include Roma, Juventus, Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City. A version of the Manchester Derby will be played, but the venue has not been announced. The current states hosting a match are as follows: Maryland, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, Tennessee and Florida.

That’s right, Florida has been selected to host several matches. But Miami wasn’t the only city to score a game. Camping World Stadium in Orlando was chosen to hold the match between Tottenham and PSG on July 22. The stadium also hosted several Copa America Centenario games last year and was home for Orlando City SC for two seasons. The stadium possesses the ability to convert the turf field to a grass field which pleases the players.

The city of Orlando is on the rise, and soccer has risen to prominence in the city. With the help of Orlando City SC and the other Orlando soccer teams such as the Pride and now OCB, soccer is becoming a popular attraction for this city. Orlando is booming right now, and the city remains in the national and international soccer spotlight.

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With a possibility of a World Cup coming to the United States, the nation is gearing up for the future. Although the actual year is in turmoil due to several circumstances, several cities and stadiums have the potential to hold international soccer events. This has been evident with international friendlies, MLS games, Copa America last year and the ICC this summer. The last time the World Cup made its way to the U.S. was in 1994; it is time for round two.

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