FOXBORO, MA - JULY 13: Nemanja Vidic #114 of the Manchester United and a young fan carry the Premier Trophy onto the field before a friendly match with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on July 13, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Manchester United have spent nearly a week in Seattle during their United States pre-season tour and the visit to the Pacific Northwest will culminate on Wednesday at CenturyLInk Field when they take on the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) in a friendly. The MLS side are arguably the in-form club at the moment in their league as they have gone unbeaten in the past 11 matches in all competitions. The club also boasts the most vociferous and rabid supporters in the United States and attendance for their home matches averages 37,189 per match. CenturyLink Field is also the home of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and for this particular friendly, the entire stadium has been opened up. Thus, a a sellout of 67,000 plus is possible - 65,000+ tickets have already been sold as of a few days ago. For most of United's foreign tours, the crowds have generally been pro-United but for this particular friendly, the Sounders supporters will surely outnumber United's. However, Seattle is a football-loving region and this friendly will seen as a celebration of the sport.
Newcomers David De Gea and Phil Jones, along with Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley, and Danny Welbeck have all joined the tour in Seattle after receiving additional time-off after their U-21 national team duties this summer. Antonio Valencia and Darren Fletcher remain in Manchester while recuperating from injury and illness, respectively. Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is taking some additional time off due to his participation with the Mexican national team in the Gold Cup - the young striker will join the club in New York later in the tour.
Dave: Most supporters probably aren't terribly excited for the game in light of the fixture congestion. They may enjoy the opportunity to see one of the five best teams in the world live, in stadium with the temporary grass, but they know it is meaningless. The number one wish is that no one get injured, particularly in a season with three trophies ripe and readily available.The general public and the casuals may be a bit more excited. I know that United players are getting recognized around town, and that tickets for this game are quite popular. Wednesday night will be a fun party and celebration of high level soccer, but the atmosphere will be quite muted compared to normal. It's a shame that those around the world who love United won't see Seattle's standard experience, but this audience knows which games matter. This isn't one of them.
Zakuani came up through the Arsenal youth system but a tragic accident saw him pushed aside to college here. Over his first two years in the USA as a pro he quickly became the best left winger in the league and it was clear he would last too long. Then, agains the Colorado Rapids, his leg was snapped and now his future is unclear. Hurtado just suffered a minor tweak to his right knee and may not play either.
Dave:Ryan Giggs is a quality outfield player at his age is just down right impressive.And of course the ageless one, just because of that and no other reason. That