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Major League Soccer prepares for English invasion

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Premier League champions Manchester City headline a septet of English clubs heading to North America for pre-season friendlies against Major League Soccer sides.

Manuel Pellegrini's men travel to Sporting Park to challenge current MLS Cup holders Sporting Kansas City, while their Manchester rivals United and FA Cup winners Arsenal are among the other teams with upcoming games.

The action kicks off on July 19, when Tottenham Hotspur visit the home of league leaders Seattle Sounders FC and former player Clint Dempsey.

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This is the first of a trio of matches, with Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire also preparing to host Spurs. The Reds brought England forward Jermain Defoe to Canada from White Hart Lane in January, while Tottenham youngster Grant Ward is currently on loan at the Illinois outfit.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa will play FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo, and Crystal Palace will meet the Columbus Crew, the Philadelphia Union and the USL Professional Division's Richmond Kickers.

LA Galaxy v Manchester United

On July 23 - a few hours after City face Sporting - two of David Beckham's ex-employers will go head-to-head. The LA Galaxy will line up against Manchester United, in Louis van Gaal's first game in charge. New signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have already been confirmed in the travelling party, alongside stars such as Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

Three days later, Arsenal will appear at the Red Bull Arena as Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls provide the opposition. The teams met at the Gunners' Emirates Cup back in 2011 - the match ending in a 1-1 draw with a Kyle Bartley own-goal cancelling out Robin van Persie's opener.

On the same night, Eddie Johnson will come up against former club Fulham, who venture to EverBank Field in Jacksonville to face DC United. The Cottagers' 13-year stay in England's top flight came to an end in May, and their campaign gets under way a week earlier than that of their compatriots.

San Jose Earthquakes v Atletico Madrid

The San Jose Earthquakes also have a clash lined up, as they encounter Spanish giants Atletico Madrid at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. Atleti lost the UEFA Champions League final against their city rivals Real and have lost a number of their key players, but should draw a considerable crowd.

Meanwhile, last season's Premier League runners-up Liverpool will join both Manchester clubs in an American-based tournament - the International Champions Cup.

Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion also have games in the States, but will be entertained by lower league pair Minnesota United and Sacremento Republic.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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