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Ladies and Gentlemen,
Soccer is back at Fenway this summer! Fenway Sports Management announced last Wednesday that Liverpool will play Italian club AS Roma at Fenway on July 25 as a part of Liverpool’s preseason North American tour. Yes, the last time the beautiful game graced the friendly confines of Fenway Park was during the summer of 2010 when Sporting Lisbon took on Celtic FC. I was at that game and minus a few spilled beers and a lost umbrella, it was great raucous and jovial environment for the game (other than the vuvuzelas). The match this summer could prove to be even better.
John Henry, principal owner of Liverpool, will be keen to put a quality product on the field. You’ve probably been noticing Liverpool FC replays taking up more and more time on NESN. No doubt that Henry (and the rest of FSM) wants to capitalize on the Fenway faithful to open up an even bigger market for Liverpool here in New England.
Sadly, Liverpool aren’t really helping their cause with their play of late. While they won the Carling Cup last month and are in the FA Cup semi-finals, they lost to Newcastle 2-0 this past weekend and it was their sixth loss in the past seven Premier League games. Not stellar. Their recent slide has seen them fall to eighth in the league with really not much of a chance to break the much coveted top four to earn a spot in the Champions League next season.
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish was a brief bright spot for Reds’ fans when he took over the managing position last year but since then, he simply doesn’t have the finishing quality on his squad to win games. Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson – all big signings brought in by Dalglish to the tune of £85m – haven’t panned out.
Roma, on the other hand, is having a late-season surge. Their 5-2 evisceration of Novara this past weekend kept them in sixth place, four points behind city rivals Lazio, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.
While Henry will be wanting to put a quality product on the field for this exhibition, he also has to contend with the Euro 2012 tournament this summer. I know I’d like to see Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina, and Francisco Totti on the pitch at Fenway. Is that very likely to happen though?
The match will be a part of Fenway’s 100th anniversary celebration. Tickets for the event go on sale April 28. More information can be found at lfctour.com. If you’re a fan of the game, this is a must see event.