Granted, the International Champions Cup (ICC) is not the most competitive and sought after football championship in the world but it has merits. It is an annual exhibition competition featuring clubs from Europe that match up against each other in a series of pre-season friendly games. Originally, teams were playing in the United States and Canada but, since then, the playfield has been broadened. If you don’t know much about US football, Hope Solo is sexy goalkeeper so you can check her out and start from there. Since its founding by billionaire Stephen Ross and a former New York executive, Matt Higgins, in 2012. when they had replaced the World Football Challenge with the International Champions Cup, the format has been changed on multiple occasions. In its current, 2019 edition, 12 teams are participating with C.D. Guadalajara making a debut and being the only non-European team. On March 26, 2019. 17 venues were announced and, since the start of the tournament on July 16. 2019, 7 matches were played. By the end of it, each team will play three matches so there will be a total of 18. With the current state on the table, Arsenal is in the lead with 6 points, followed by Benfica, Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, and Fiorentina respectively, all with 3 points each. With 3 points being awarded for a win and none for a loss, and with penalty shoot-out giving the winner two and the loser one point, Arsenal is in a decent spot and looking forward to winning the championship. Though having played a game more than some teams beneath them on the table, they have the advantage of having won both games played so far. In a game versus Bayern Munich, Arsenal looked sharp and hungry for the win. Even though it was just a friendly match, desire and dedication were there. A stroke of good luck pushed them in the right direction after Poznanski’s mishap and his own goal in the 49th minute. Lewandowski brought a bit of uncertainty with the 71st-minute equalizer but Nketiah secured the win mere two minutes before the extra time. The second game, against Fiorentina, went a lot smoother. Nketiah brought them a lead just 15 minutes in and scored another goal in the second half. Even in those harsh weather conditions, with temperature going up to 37 degrees with 90 percent humidity, Willock secured the victory by scoring the third goal a minute before the stoppage time. Feeling confident off of those two wins, the team is going forward to face Real Madrid. In their own words, they are looking great, sharp, move the ball quickly and are solid at defense. All of that certainly looks promising but Real Madrid is nothing to scoff at. Being the current most successful club in the International Champions Cup with 3 titles, even in friendly matches where competitiveness is not high, they are a solid threat. Arsenal needs to be playing its best games against them.
September 18, 2019
July 23, 2019