French Soccer Invading the United States
New York French soccer fans are in for a real treat at the end of July when some top Ligue 1 teams stop by for a visit.
For the first time ever, Yankee Stadium will host a match between Chelsea, a club from London, and Paris St. Germain from France. Julian Stein is founder of the city's PSG fan club. He says there are more French soccer fans in the area then one might think.
"The predominance is French, citizens working or studying in the tri-state area. We do have a number of US fans that at one point have lived in France or have followed French soccer for a while. Obviously, they are very excited for the game," Stein said.
That match-up is set to kick off Sunday, July 22nd.
Another first comes almost a week later, when the Trophee Des Champions comes to Red Bull Arena. Never before has the French Super Cup been played on US soil, and the annual match marks the beginning of the soccer season in France. This year's match-up brings soccer clubs from cities Montpellier and Lyon. John Dato is a marketing consultant for Front Row Sports, one of the groups organizing the game. He says New York soccer fans are already getting a taste of the French Super Cup.
"We had it [the trophy] in a different bar every day during the Euro Cup, so people could kind of touch and feel what the French Supercup is all about," Dato said.
The trophy will also bounce around the city on July 14th in honor of Bastille Day.
This will be the first time the Trophee Des Champions takes place in a primarily English speaking country. Places where French is popular have hosted the game in recent years, including Montreal in 2009 and Morocco in 2011. Large crowds attended the French Super Cup in those areas, and Dato expects fans to flock to the stadium for this match as well.
"They were pretty successful. We're expecting it to be successful here as well," he said.
Kick off for the match is Saturday, July 28th.