Report: Real Madrid to Play Celtic at Lincoln Financial Field

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We included this in the roundup, but thought it deserves calling out: Real Madrid will play Celtic at Lincoln Financial on August 11 at 1:30 p.m., according to a Philly.com report.

This will be the second year in a row Real Madrid plays at the Linc (they beat the Union 2-1 last year). Why is that significant? Because soccer is in a crazy growth phase in the U.S. right now, aided by more coverage (FOX Soccer channels, specifically), ESPN getting behind the sport, and successful World Cup runs for both the U.S. men’s and women’s teams in recent years (though the U.S. Men’s team failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 20 years this year). The early success of the MLS in Philadelphia has helped locally, too. 

News of the Spanish powerhouse coming to Philly yet again means that the winner of the most prestigious league in the world (UEFA Champions League), Chelsea, who will play the MLS All-Stars at PPL Park in July… the Scottish champ, Celtic… and perhaps the best team in the world, Real Madrid, will all play in Philadelphia this summer. That’s a big deal for exposure.

As mentioned, soccer is growing rapidly in the U.S., and, often times, more English and other European games are televised here than they are in their respective countries. For example: Every English Premier League match on the last day of the season (there are no playoffs) was televised in the U.S. this year, yet that wasn’t the case England, where fans didn't have the option of tuning in to see the frantic final moments of the season (there are benefits beyond just winning the league– finishing in the top 4, not finishing in the bottom 4, and so on). Our appetite for sports, combined with, like, 9,000 cable channels, makes U.S. viewers prime targets for sports leagues, anywhere. And having teams like Real Madrid, Celtic and Chelsea (and Juventus, Tottenham and Liverpool, who are playing in nearby cities) play in Philadelphia goes a long way in introducing the game to new potential fans. 

Myself included.

Last year, after watching Real Madrid play the Union, I latched on to the sport. I became hooked last fall and winter watching the English Premier League. I purchased the FOX Soccer app to watch non-televised games on my iPad. I bought two versions of FIFA soccer on PS3, spent many a weekend morning at the Iron Abbey watching matches being played 4,000 miles away, and now say things like pitch and ball and strike. Most of that interest is based off seeing one game last summer. So it works.

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28 Responses

  1. Don’t worry about the Olympics, no right minded footie fan gives to flying ***** about Olympic footie, only our Club and International competitions count.
    With the US team also tanking Scotland at the weekend and topping the group in the last World Cup, US football continues to get stronger.

  2. Slow day in Philly sports.
    Only thing they’re talking about are those god forsaken boring as hell oft injured Phillies.
    Eagles training camp can’t get here fast enough.

  3. *waves at bob*
    Thanks for the intro
    Soccer aka Third World Ball, sucks. boring. terrible. You know what is a much cooler and more exciting sport? Bull Riding. Why can’t we all get behind Bull Riding instead of soccer?

  4. @that guy: I would rather watch a granny shake it in a thong contest before i would waist a couple of hours of my life watching a 1-0 soccer game.

  5. Philadelphia will be become the marquee American city for European football…embrace it. Major clubs enjoy coming here, the city should sieze this opportunity before NY (has Thierry Henry and deep pocketed RedBulls), Boston (RedSox owners also own Liverpool) or another major American city does…there is money to made, and sport to be enjoyed.

  6. It must suck for the peewee football stars out there. Just watching something take hold in the US other then football. hehe

  7. The enthusiasm is refreshing, but Philadelphia will never be the marquee American city for “European football,” or soccer for that matter. There will never be a marquee American city for soccer.

  8. haha, the “soccer floppers” have never watched an NBA (flop) or NHL (dive) game, nor acknowledge the NFL players laying on the ground for 2 minuets and then back in the game after the next play. idiots. it’s all the same.

  9. sorry, i forgot to mention the football players have oxygen tanks, sideline bikes, more medical staff than players, and 40 seconds between each play to get healthy. God forbid a soccer player legally stays on the ground for 30 seconds.
    (and I love both sports)

  10. 1. Champions League isn’t an actual league is a tournament
    2. Eden Hazard is a Blue!
    3. Real Madrid only faces a respectable opponent every month or so, and wouldn’t hold up in the England.
    4. The EPL is the strongest league in the world. La Liga has no competitive balance, with only Barcelona and Real Madrid as exceptional teams. The EPL has such great balance up and down the table that Newcastle (a team promoted from the 2nd-tier league in England in 2011) finished 5th this year in a league with powerhouses such as Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City, Man United, and Arsenal
    5. The MLS will truly become respected when a top non-American player joins the league in the prime of his career. I don’t want to hear about Henry and Beckham, two players that are over the hill and the only reason they’re not retired is the amount of money American teams are willing to pay for a “star”

  11. ^agreed, La Liga has the 2 best teams in the world, but the rest of the league sucks. It’s like the Flyers and Rangers playing teams from the AHL all the time then occasionally playing each other.
    MLS won’t make it anytime soon unless some serious money is poured in. Everyone that’s good in the MLS is over 30, and your “prime” in soccer is younger than some sports (21-28 IMO). It’s an excuse for a rich foreign player to move to the USA (who wouldn’t), and get overpaid to play the game. They also go from being washed up (Beckham’s last days in England) to a sudden superstar. It’s good that there trying, but if anyone becomes anything through the MLS program, they’ll get bought out overseas.
    Think Brek Shea. He’s got a future, but it won’t be in the MLS. Clint Dempsey played in the MLS before an overseas team with a lot of money bought him out.

  12. 1. Hazard and Hulk are soon to be Blues, and so will the Dutch right back Gregory Van der Wiel. A lot of great talent is coming to Chelsea and that should be a huge motivator for fans to come to the MLS All-Star game
    2. Think of the MLS right now as a sort of retirement home for soccer players. The most money to be made is in the big 5 in Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France) but when players get older, like Tierry Henry and David Beckham, they come to the MLS because the competition is less intense but the money is still good
    3. Hopefully soccer can expand further in the U.S. and more specifically Philly, but the Union really aren’t helping that one out right now
    4. Blue is the color

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