Manchester City to play MLS champions in pre-season friendly

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Manchester City were already booked in for a pre-season friendly tournament in the United States but now they have a new fixture on the schedule.

Before taking on AC Milan, Liverpool and Olympiakos, City will now face reigning MLS champions Sporting Kansas City on July 23rd.

"Every time we visit the US, we’re always blown-away by the incredible reception we receive from our American fans," City forward Sergio Aguero said. "The whole team is looking forward to not only returning to the states this summer, but also to playing in Kansas for the first time.

"Having won the MLS title, Sporting Kansas City’s reputation for being formidable opponents is richly deserved. It’s sure to be a tough test and a fantastic game of football for the fans. We’ve heard a lot about the city, so it will be great to see what it has in store."

The Manchester club are no strangers to playing in America and Sporting have history of playing - and winning - against EPL teams.

A pre-season victory over City's rivals Manchester United in 2010 was effectively proved to be an excellent catalyst for the side that has seen them become MLS champs, open a brand new stadium and play in front of sell out crowds every week.

So with that track record it's easy to see why SKC would accept to play the 2012 Premier League winners this summer. This was confirmed by manager Peter Vermes.

"It is a pleasure to host a world-class club like Manchester City," Vermes stated. "It will be a great event not only for our fans, but our players as well to measure ourselves against one of the best teams in all of soccer."

Football is on the rise in the States and Canada, with MLS being the fastest growing league in the world and attracting higher caliber stars every year.

Graham Zusi, Eric Kronberg, Matt Besler and Chance Myers are the only remaining players from that 2010 victory and will be eagerly anticipating the chance to claim a double over both Manchester teams.

"The team is excited and will be ready to face another Premier League team," Sporting captain Besler said. "We have so many memories from the last time we played a team from Manchester and now playing at Sporting Park will make this even better."

It remains to be seen if City will be travelling to Kansas having been crowned 2013-14 winners in the what is sure to be tense remaining games of the season.

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