Manchester City takes on Liverpool at Yankee Stadium
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While several teams competing in the Guinness International Champions Cup are using the tournament to establish their brand in the United States, Manchester City is well beyond that.
The English Premier League champions want to enhance it with their baby sister club, New York City FC, ready to take its first steps in Major League Soccer next March at Yankee Stadium.
So it should not be surprising that Manchester City will meet runner-up Liverpool at the Stadium at 7 Wednesday night.
"It is important to have a global presence," manager Manuel Pellegrini said Tuesday. "A lot of things that Manchester City is doing in England we try to do the same thing here in New York."
If Pellegrini also meant immediate success on the field, he is putting some pressure on the MLS expansion team that has yet to kick its first ball. City scored a 5-3 exhibition win over Chelsea in May 2013 at the Stadium.
Liverpool finished second to City by two points. Only 26 days after playing Liverpool in New York, City will host its rivals in its home opener Aug. 25.
Pellegrini said the match is "important for us to win . . . They're a very strong team."
The baseball field will be converted into a soccer pitch with grass placed over the infield.
"It's a nice stadium to play, even if it's not a football pitch," star striker Edin Dzeko said. "We're looking forward to it."
Most of the ICC matches are being played on American gridiron football fields.
"The pitch is definitely different than we're used to playing," Dzeko said, adding that when he grew up in Bosnia "we didn't have enough good pitches. So it is not nothing new. We have to get used to it because even in England, not every pitch is too good."
For so many years of being "the other team" to Manchester United, City finds itself as top dog in that city. United, which finished a disappointing seventh, is rebuilding under manager Louis van Gaal, who directed the Netherlands to a third-place World Cup finish.
Pellegrini wished his rival well, but not too well.
"Louis van Gaal is a successful manager," he said. "He has new challenges in Manchester United, which is a very strong team. I wish for him to have a very good season, but I hope that we can stay up from Manchester United."