Organizers announced recently that Manchester United would join Chelsea, Liverpool, Celtic, AC Milan, AS Roma and Bayern Munich in the 2004 Champions World Series in July and August.
United were the star attractions in last year’s highly successful summer tour that saw them overrun the likes of Celtic, Mexico’s Club America, Juventus and Barcelona before record-breaking crowds around the United States.
Barring injuries or any close season transfers, Keane and his Irish compatriots John O’Shea, new signing Liam Miller and Northern Ireland’s veteran goalie Roy Carroll will return with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side for three matches.
They face old UEFA Champions League rivals Bayern at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 25; clash with Celtic at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on July 28 and wind up against Milan before what should be another jam-packed Giants Stadium in New Jersey on July 31.
Duff’s Chelsea also have three matches lined up for them. The filthy rich Londoners open against Celtic at Seahawks Stadium in Seattle on July 24, before games against Roma at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on July 29 and Milan at Lincoln Field in Philadelphia on Aug. 2.
Liverpool, with Irish international defender Finnan on their books, tackle Celtic at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on July 26 and Roma at Giants Stadium on Aug. 3.
The complete 2004 Champions World Series Tour schedule is: Saturday, July 24,
Chelsea vs. Celtic (Seahawks Stadium, Seattle); Sunday, July 25, Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich (Soldier Field, Chicago); Monday, July 26, Liverpool vs. Celtic (Rentschler Field, East Hartford); Wednesday, July 28, Manchester vs. Celtic (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia); Thursday, July 29, Roma vs. Chelsea (Heinz Field, Pittsburgh).
Also, Saturday, July 31, Manchester vs. Milan (Giants Stadium, East Rutherford); Saturday, July 31, Celtic vs. Roma (SkyDome, Toronto); Monday, Aug. 2, Chelsea vs. Milan (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia); Tuesday, Aug. 3, Roma vs. Liverpool (Giants Stadium, East Rutherford).