The choice of venues for Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the United States has been questioned amid low attendances at the club’s opening two games.
United kicked off the tour with a 1-1 draw against Club America at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium (pictured prior to an Arizona Cardinals game) before playing out a 0-0 draw with San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
The attendance for the Club America game was 37,766 at a stadium that holds 63,400. About 30,000 people attended the San Jose Earthquakes stalemate, well short of the 68,500-capacity Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers NFL American football team. United next head to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena tomorrow (Wednesday) to take on AC Milan.
On the contrary, United’s Premier League rival Chelsea played in front of a near-capacity crowd of 55,000 at Perth’s Optus Stadium earlier today (Tuesday), emerging with a 1-0 win against Perth Glory. A similar crowd turned out to see Liverpool take on Borussia Dortmund at the 75,000-seat Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The lower attendances at United’s matches suggest that Jose Mourinho’s side is not as much of a draw as it has been in the past, although an absence of some big-name stars in the squad may have been a factor. Players such as Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba remain on holiday following their World Cup exploits, while Alexis Sanchez missed the first match against Club America.
Very small crowd here in Santa Clara. San Jose’s own 18,000 seater stadium, where MUFC played in 2015, would surely have been better. pic.twitter.com/zQfLNzcOoA
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) July 22, 2018